Summertime is almost here, and much to the excitement of kids everywhere (and fear for many parents) that means vacation time! Airlines, hotels, travel websites and cities are stocking up for what’s likely to be a busy — and hot — tourist season, and one of the best ways they can ensure they’re on a family’s “go-to” list is by creating content that fulfills every step of their travel needs.
Wouldn’t you want to travel more often without breaking the bank? What if I told you that instead of planning one family trip a year, you can go twice with the same budget? If you are at all interested, read on to find out how you can do simple things to save money next time you go on vacation.
1. Airfare Always look for Airline Tickets in advance to get a better deal. Connecting Flights, Round Trip Tickets whatever you can find. Consider packing really old clothes (if you plan to buy new ones on the trip). This way, you can keep one luggage and still have room for purchases. Airlines are starting to charge for everything now and if you have 2 bags or more, expect to be charged for it.
2. Eating Plan Your Meals, Meals Carryover. Want a breakfast that cost nothing? Ask for some bread to-go at the restaurant the night before. Eat More at Lunch Than Dinners – Fancy lunches are often much less expensive than dinners. If you eat a big breakfast, lunch and a light dinner, it’s also healthier.
3. Accommodations Vacation Home– If you are staying at a destination for at least a few days, consider a vacation home instead of hotels. They are often are more comfortable and your cost will probably be cheaper.
4. Shopping Make a list and check it twice. Pay cash only. “If you know that you’ve had trouble in (years) past, do a cash-only. Think of credit cards as short-term loans. Ideally, you’ll want to pay everything off immediately. Have a choice of cards? Always use the card that offers the lowest interest rate. A good idea is to track your credit card spending just as you would if you were writing a check.
5. Alternatives Be a Little Flexible with Travel Days – Many prices are based on supply and demand, so sometimes it’s much cheaper to leave the day before (or after) instead. Look around the dates of your travel plans and see if spending an extra day is worth it. This makes a difference especially around major holidays. Go Off Season – Consider this type of vacations in off-peak times (going to Florida in the spring/ fall time for example). It’s cheaper and less crowded. Travel Around Home – Overseas travel might be your dream vacation but there are actually many places close by that is very interesting as well. Check out those lesser known places and the local experience might very well be great. Try Booking at Different Times – Online sites sometimes have rates based on the time and day of the week you book. Try different combinations and see if you can get a better deal.
6. General Discount Everything –Don’t Give Up Looking for Deals – Even if you have your plans set, keep trying to look for deals. Reservations can often be canceled with a full refund so if you find a last minute deal that fits into your plans, take advantage of it. Reward Points – Even if you aren’t a frequent traveler, sign up for those reward programs since you might qualify eventually. It’s all free anyway and if you finally get enough points, you can get always get something free. Age, Student and Membership Discounts – Many attractions like theme parks, museums and others have discounts for senior, children or students. If you are traveling, remember to take your ID and membership cards (e.g. AAA card) with you that might qualify you for these. Group Discounts – We all know there are group discounts everywhere. To take advantage, team up with a few friends and go to the same destinations together. You can even set it up so there is no obligations to be everywhere together. Talk to the Locals – Be friendly and chat with them. Sometimes, they will tell you where to eat and some may even offer you to stay over (works best in small towns) Visit well known attractions – To get the most bang for your buck, consider destinations where there are a lot of free activities. For example visiting beaches or parks. These are great places to visit with the family and friends since there’s something everyone can enjoy and there are many different activities for your group to do that are reasonably priced. Consider popular vacation destinations, which is another great frugal destination since there are a lot of free family activities or events!
Summer is the best time to get out, travel and re-energize yourself. You can have a great vacation and cherish the experience with your loved ones, without breaking the bank! If you plan smart and ahead, look for discount coupons for the attractions you plan to see, you can fund a fun and affordable trip without sacrificing the experience and if you budget properly and coordinate your trip, you can put more money towards the best parts of the trip!
If you would like to see more tips on how to save money on vacation. Please click here.
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