Where the Spring Travel Bargains Are

Travel costs may be recovering from recession lows, but bargains are still to be found for those willing to search. You just have to know where to look.

Even though travel costs are recovering a bit from their recession-induced lows, there are bargains to be found for those willing to search for them.

Airlines are trying to introduce fare increases but lodging costs are still pretty much in the cellar, which can have an impact on the overall cost of your spring getaway. Here’s a roundup of tips from travel consultants.

The good news is that the spring break travel crunch has already hit its peak and will wind down between now and early April. Airline fares are generally higher during this period, so planning your vacation to avoid the college crowd can save you money.

In fact, say the travel gurus, mid-spring, from late April to mid-May, when there’s less competition from families and college vacationers, can be an ideal time to score bargain air fares. And if you’re planning on traveling to Europe, international air fares are already starting to creep upward, so spring may be the last chance to bag a bargain fare until next fall.

With hotel room rates still in bargain territory, travel mavens advise you to look at the total cost of your vacation, instead of zeroing in on the air fare alone. Any higher costs for air travel may be offset by the discounted room rates, free breakfasts, and free extra nights that many hotels are offering.

Lower lodging costs may also make package deals more affordable than paying for air travel, lodging, and a rental car separately. For an extensive list of current travel bargains, check out IndependentTraveler.com.