Travel Deals, Decoded

by  Liz Webber | May 22, 2012
Plane in the sky
Plane in the sky / undefinedundefined/iStock

We're always on the hunt to find you the very best travel deals. Yet, we know it's easy to get caught up in the industry jargon and skip over a good deal – or worse, book an offer without fully understanding all the conditions only to get a nasty surprise later. Here's a handy deal dictionary to decode all the offers you see.

Based on double occupancy: Many hotels base their rates on two people staying in one room. Extra fees could apply if you want the kiddos to stay in the same room, too.

Rack rate: This is the official price a hotel says it will charge at a given time, without any discounts or special offers. Though few people end up paying the rack rate, hotels and deals sites like to use it as a base to make the actual rate seem like huge savings.

Resort credit: A bonus amount the hotel throws your way that might be good towards food and drinks, activities, or spa services. The credit is usually applied to your bill when you check out (so pay attention to how much you’re spending). Remember that it’s less costly for a hotel to tack on a resort credit than to discount your room rate.

Escorted tour: Usually a package deal including guided visits to attractions, hotels, and possibly airfare, booked for travel with a group of people you may or may not know. While it can be nice to have a guide to explain the sights and lead you along every step of the way in an unfamiliar country, be sure you’re aware in advance how large your group is – and figure out whether or not you’ll be happy traveling with a busload (or three) of other tourists.

Self-guided tour: Hotels, car rental, and even activities may be pre-booked, but you’re on your own to get from place to place.

Minimum stay: Certain deals and discounts only apply when you stay a certain number of nights. Hotels and airlines may also require you to stay a specific day of the week, such as Saturday night for airfare deals.

Blackout dates may apply: The special offer may not be valid on all dates within the travel window. Most often, blackout dates are holidays or other periods when a hotel expects to be able to book up without giving any extra incentives to guests.

Use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find the lowest rates and travel deals on hotels, flights, vacation packages, and more.

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