QThis is a guest post by Tim Smithson
Tim is a travel advisor who helps customers finance vacations. When he’s not advising for vacations he enjoys writing articles about personal finance topics such as Installment Loans, Credit Card Debt, and Budgeting
Believe it or not, cruises are the most budget friendly vacations there are. You get to experience new places and cultures, try new foods, and experience new activities all in one. Cruises are affordable all year round, but the best deals occur in the spring. These tips will help you avoid overpaying for a cruise this year.
While all cruise lines offer great deals from time to time, some are generally cheaper than others. Royal Caribbean and Carnival typically hold the lowest rates among cruise lines.
In the U.S. there are only several departing ports. Make sure you are looking for flight deals so that you don’t spend the majority of your money on transportation. Some cruise lines offer discounted flights and transportation to/from the airport.
Cruise Itinerary and Length
The length of your cruise will determine the price as well as the number of ports you visit. Generally speaking, the shorter the cruise, the shorter the price and the less ports visited. If you want to see more places, you will need to book a longer cruise and should expect to pay more.
Another option determining your cruise price is your room view. A suite with a balcony will ultimately cost more than a state room, which has no windows. If you can go without the view, you can slash hundreds on any cruise line.
Comparison Shop Your Cruise
Even if you believe that you have found the perfect cruise, make sure you visit cruise comparison sites to see if there is a better deal out there. There is nothing worse than paying for a great cruise, and realizing that you could have paid less. Shop around before making your final decision.
Excursions on Your Cruise
Many cruise lines also offer information about activities and tours you can take while at your ports, for a fee of course. You can save money by skipping the cruise line excursions and finding your own. Many locals will provide tours at lower rates, and will know the best views and places to take you. If you can forego the water sports and activities, it’s best to do without. After all most ships already have an array of pools and activities on board.
If you don’t have time to take a cruise during the spring, there are also great deals in August and September. Just make sure you purchase travel insurance, so in the event of a hurricane, you’re covered.