Insider's Shopping Tips


Insider's Shopping Tips
How do you find low prices for your flights, lodging, and rental cars? Below you'll find tips that may help you keep costs down and understand why prices vary.

Flights Lodging Rental Cars


Buy roundtrip tickets. The least expensive fares often apply to roundtrip tickets.

Purchase early. Try to make your reservations and ticket purchases at least 21 days prior to departure. This advance-purchase period varies. Some fares require an advance purchase of 3, 7, 14, or 21 days, while others may require no advance purchase at all.

Spend a Saturday night at your destination. Many of the lower fares require a Saturday night stay.

Consider alternative airports. If you live within driving distance of two or more airports, be sure to check fares for all. Some airlines offer special fares for flights into specific airports.

Check fares on all airlines. Don't assume that an advertised special fare is available on only one airline. Most airlines quickly respond to a special fare introduced by a competitor, sometimes at an even better rate.

Don't discard unused tickets. The majority of inexpensive fares are nonrefundable and nontransferable. However, if you don't use your ticket, don't throw it away. In some cases, you may apply the cost of the ticket (minus the airline penalty fee) toward the purchase of another ticket on the same airline. Your original ticket may have value for up to one year from the issue date.

Have your frequent flyer membership numbers on hand when you shop. Depending on how many miles you have accrued, you may qualify for perks such as preferred or upgraded seating. In any case, you'll want to be sure to get credit for the miles you fly. You always have the opportunity to provide frequent flyer numbers when you shop with


Book an Expedia Rate hotel or vacation rental. These are special negotiated rates up to 70% lower than the average standard rates. You'll find Expedia Rate accommodations in over 240 cities around the world.

For weekend trips, check the rates at business-oriented hotels. These hotels frequently offer weekend specials.

Read descriptions carefully. Some accommodations offer different options at similar prices. Details, such as breakfast included in the price, can make all the difference in the value you receive for your travel dollar.

Consider the season you're traveling. Resorts typically offer the same rates throughout the week, but those rates may vary by season. Off-peak rates, available when fewer travelers are visiting a particular city or region, can represent substantial savings.

Rental cars

Rent Friday to Monday. Rental car companies may offer weekend discounts.

Have your frequent renter and frequent flyer membership numbers on hand when you shop. Rental car companies may offer express pickup service or flight mileage for their frequent renters. You always have the opportunity to provide frequent traveler numbers when you shop with

When selecting a preferred rental car company, always choose "Preferred Vendors". You're more likely to find lower rental rates if you don't concentrate on a single company. Click Show more vendors at the bottom of the Search results page for even more choices.