Traveling can be costly. Prices continue to go up every day, making vacations seem more like a dream than reality to the average working American. That doesn’t mean that traveling is impossible, however. Deals are out there for a variety of things, from cruises to lodging. What’s important is knowing what, exactly, to look for to get the best deal possible for your future vacation.

Online Bounce-Back Deals

A great way to score better deals on what you’re looking for is taking advantage of online bounce-back sales. Bounce-back promotions are ways for companies to try and draw clients back for a second purchase through email. These emails usually contain similar products to the one already purchased, or discount codes to use on a future purchase. According to MarketWatch.com, this doesn’t necessarily require an actual purchase to work. Go through the motions as if you were going to make a purchase from the site, and be sure to check the box opting to receive email offers from the company. Then exit out of the screen and wait for the emails to show up. This doesn’t always happen, but more often than not, offers will end up in your inbox after a few days with lower prices for what you were looking for in the first place.

Home Exchanges

If hotels don’t necessarily suit your fancy, you may find yourself drawn to participating in a home exchange instead. Home exchange is when you and another person swap homes with one another, usually for an extended period. Three options are available with home exchanges: simultaneous (staying in one another’s house at the same time for the same amount of time), non-simultaneous (staying in someone’s vacation home, or vice-versa), and hospitality exchange (being a guest to your trade partner, and vice-versa). The benefit of participating in a home exchange program is that there’s no worry about paying for hotels, restaurants, or, often, transportation, since it’s all provided along with the exchange. The best way to get into a program is to look online for sites such as HomeExchange.com to browse its listings; the only price you’ll have to pay is the membership fee for the site you sign up for.

Travel Rewards Credit Cards

For those who travel a lot, either for a living or for recreational purposes, signing up for a travel rewards credit card may be worth the investment. Companies that offer these types of cards typically award a certain amount of points or miles to those who meet the spending requirements on the credit card and pay it off monthly. These points or miles can then be put toward flights or hotels. However, Investopedia suggests checking whether or not an airline or hotel has limited availability for those with your card during the time you want to travel. 

Senior Discounts

For older travelers, it’s wise to take advantage of senior discounts when applicable. They can save you a certain percentage off of cruises, hotels, travel, and so on; Amtrak, for example, offers a 10% discount to seniors aged 65 and older. Be sure to check for limitations before booking to make sure that the discount applies to what you’re looking to do.