Sometimes it seems as though finding a great deal on a vacation package is akin to looking for a needle in a haystack. It’s out there, somewhere, but it doesn’t seem as if you’ll ever find it. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to save a bundle on vacation packages that don’t require a never-ending, difficult search.

First, consider going on vacation outside of the peak tourist season, as this is the number one way to slash the cost of your vacation package. While peak tourist season varies by destination, it’s usually dependent on a few things. Summer vacation in the northern hemisphere means kids are out of school, so many families are forced to take their vacations during this time. Summer also means that the weather is warm, so many beaches and cities are crowded with tourists hoping for great weather. Many places have their peak season at the opposite time. Places such as the Caribbean have their peak season during the winter, when tourists hoping to escape dark, dreary, and snowy days at home flock to the beaches in droves, leading to rising prices. Peak season can also involve any kind of holiday, such as Christmas or New Year’s Eve, or festivals such as Mardi Gras in New Orleans or Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro. Basically, to get a good deal on a vacation package, stay away from peak tourist season if at all possible. This doesn’t mean that you have to visit a destination when the weather is poor, but it does mean that you should think about going during the shoulder season. Shoulder season is usually in between low season and peak season, when there are fewer crowds, lower prices, and the weather is still very good. This is the time when airfares drop, and it’s easier to find a good deal on a hotel. Think April, May, September, or October.

Another great way to save on a vacation package is to purchase at the last minute. This can seem like a dicey prospect – after all, what if you wait too long and the prices are too high? While that’s true in some cases, as long as you don’t have your heart set on going to a specific destination, waiting until the last minute to purchase a vacation package can be a great idea. There’s always a good deal available to somewhere, so as long as you’re okay with not knowing where you’re going until the last minute, this can be a great way to save a lot of money.

If you want to save money but don’t want your vacation to feel like you’re on a budget, consider saving money by purchasing a vacation package to a destination that’s cheaper overall. Many countries, such as Thailand, Indonesia, India, Columbia, and Argentina, to name a few, offer exciting experiences for a fraction of the cost of many destinations in Europe or North America, even when factoring in the more expensive flight. Purchasing a vacation package usually means that you’ll be able to get a few nights in a hotel for the same cost as the flight alone, and because these countries are less expensive on average, you’ll be able to afford a more luxurious hotel. Not to mention that once you arrive, you’ll be able to afford to eat at nicer restaurants, go shopping more often, and take part in more activities than you would if you had decided to vacation at a more expensive destination.