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Just because you’re not having a destination wedding doesn’t mean you won’t have some guests making the trek from out of town to see you say, “I do.” While many of them may be able to afford flights and accommodations at the swankiest hotel in town, for others, it could be the very reason they RSVP no. Assuming you do want them there though, here are five ways to help your guests save big on travel costs.
1. Try to get group rates
No wedding planner? No problem. With Hotel Planner, you don’t have to waste your precious time calling around to a ton of hotels just to set up a room block or get a quote. “You simply submit your desired date and location, along with a few other details (max room price per night, number and type of rooms needed, etc.), and hotels will bid their group rates all in one request,” says San Francisco-based event planner Samantha Spector of Milk & Honey Special Events. That way, you can easily see where your guests will get the best deal, block those rooms and relay the info to them.
2. Set up group travel for flights
According to Spector, most major airline carriers will create a group code for you if there are 10 or more passengers traveling to a common destination, like your wedding, of course. “Find out if there’s an airline preference among the group and focus on that one airline,” she suggests. “If your wedding is over 100 out of town guests, this is a wonderful option.”
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3. Include Airbnb on your wedding website
While hotel blocks rock, so does renting a pad with all of your BFFs that are also attending the wedding. Intrigued? Then don’t forget to include Airbnb under accommodations on your wedding website. “It may be cheaper and even more luxurious to rent a large house or apartment for multiple guests rather than staying at a hotel,” points out Spector. It’s definitely an option your guests deserve to know about even if they don’t end up using it.
4. Have guests book their flights on a Tuesday or Thursday afternoon
“The average consumer can usually save up to five percent because most airlines update their systems on Monday afternoon, leaving Tuesday afternoon with the best rates,” informs Kay Junior, Vice President of global travel agency Swift Travel Deals. “By Thursday other airlines have lowered rates for weekend travel.”
5. Go through a travel agency and bundle
For the absolute best rates possible, it’s always best to bundle your travel package, even during peak season, urges Junior. “Not only is it convenient, but travel agencies are also able to negotiate rates with airlines and hotels, allowing us to create packages at prices that the consumer is unlikely to find themselves,” she explains.