"I'm a single gal. I don't have a family to take care of," she added.
Here are the best ways to find insane deals:
— Download mobile apps, bookmark pages, create online profiles and add credit card information. That way, when a deal comes along, you can book it from anywhere with minimal hassle. By the time you get to a computer, it might be gone.
— Twitter and Facebook are your friends. Sometimes airlines, hotels and cruise lines will post their deals on social media. More often, you will hear about them from industry watchers or friends.
— Sign up for text alerts. Travel blogs like Deals We Like — http://boardingarea.com/blogs/dealswelike/ — will actually send you a text message when there is an amazing special with a short shelf life.
— Question travel newsletters. By the time a travel company emails you about a "sale" most of the spots are gone. Also, sometimes those deals aren't any cheaper than what is normally offered. Like any savvy shopper, know what typical prices are so you'll know when the price has truly gone down.
— Search for last-minute weekend fares. Each Tuesday, airlines email offers for that coming weekend or the following one to fliers who have signed up online for deal alerts. Travelers have to depart late Friday night or anytime Saturday and come back Monday or Tuesday. But at least the trips don't gobble up any of those precious vacation days.
Scott Mayerowitz can be reached at http://twitter.com/GlobeTrotScott.