So, here we are again on the cusp of another three-day holiday. Going anywhere? We might have a couple of suggestions for the procrastinating traveler.

We'll fall back on our time-tested advice: time-shifting. With the holiday only 48 hours away, there are no advance booking discounts or anything like that. However, the premium that May 1 travelers are paying also results in a post-holiday dip when airlines are keen to fill seats.

Case in point: your Talking Travel correspondent was considering a Hong Kong bounce trip. It's still not too sweltering or suffocating there, and as we've indicated before, Hong Kong is the ultimate weekend getaway from Beijing. So, we looked at Cathay Pacific Airlines. Fly on May 1 and return May 3? RMB 3,880, before tax. Fly May 3 and return May 5? RMB 2,897, including tax. Now we're talking.

Strangely, Hong Kong Airlines, the Hainan Airlines SAR offshoot, is quite a bit more, RMB 4,196 for the later dates, including tax. So forget that.

Looking a bit further afield, Thai Airways is charging RMB 3,461 including tax for round-trip to Bangkok, May 3-5. That's not too bad. Cathay will get you to Bangkok round-trip for RMB 3,201. Normally we'd look at the Philippines, but Manila is just not a great spot for a short getaway. Love the country, but the capital city? Hindi.

Hotel bookings don't usually get mentioned here unless we have a deal for an update, but whenever your correspondent travels, the site of choice is Agoda. Unlike airlines, a hotel or hotel chains own websites rarely offer the best rates, although they can give better value, meaning you may get more benefits like free breakfast, but not a lower rate. Agoda, however, is all about low prices. Example: for the October holiday, your correspondent went to the Philippines. The hotel was being booked as part of a scuba diving training package. The hotel quoted a price of US$65 per night. Agoda had a better room at the exact same hotel for US$43 per night. The difference between the two more than paid for eight nights' worth of food and drink during the trip. Agoda also offers membership points, like frequent flyer miles, that add up fairly quickly. Give it a look before your next trip.

Good news, or at least we think so: beginning next week, Talking Travel will appear twice per week, on Tuesday and Thursday. Tuesday will feature the usual round-up of deals and destination suggestions, while Thursday will look more at travel trends, or perhaps offer interviews wtih travel industry figures. Until then, one road flat safe during all your May 1 travels.

Photo: Wikipedia

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