Practical ways to live better on less.
Summer is the perfect time for treating yourself to a nice vacation. Whether you are traveling by road or plane, staying in a 2 star hotel or 4 star hotel, visiting pricey attractions or finding free attractions, the trip is still going to cost you. Spending less on a vacation does not necessarily mean less fun. You can still have a great time and save money in the process. Check out my best tips for saving on your summer travels!
*Road trips are cheaper than air travel. Also keep in mind that you can bring with as much luggage as you want for no extra cost if you decide to drive. If you do decide to fly and need a lot of luggage, look into Southwest which lets you check 2 bags for free!
*Book hotels and airfare at least several weeks in advance for the best deals. Also be willing to be flexible with dates. Check 2 days before/after your intended date and play around with different times until you find the best price.
*Bring with your own food. Dining out is the biggest expense next to transportation and lodging. Reduce your total vacation costs by bringing with your own snacks and drinks. If you are driving, this should be easy to do, just throw a cooler in the back of your car. If traveling by air, buy snacks at the grocery store on the first day of your trip. Having these filling snacks on hand in your room will save you a bit on restaurant costs.
*Sign up for rewards programs. For example, hotels.com offers 1 free night after you book 10. Choice Hotels frequently offers specials deals such as 1 night free after booking 2. Check around to see who is offering the best promotions.
*Visit unpopular destinations. The most popular destinations are often the priciest, but not necessarily the best time! For example, look into ski lodges/mountain getaways during the summer months for reduced rates. Also, consider smaller cities and local hotels over big tourist destinations.
*Check Groupon and LivingSocial. Both of these daily deal websites frequently offer vacation deals for locales across the US and worldwide. I have used both of these services many times with no problems.
*Book your trip at an all inclusive resort. An all inclusive resort includes all your meals and activities and will not only cut down on your costs, but also on your stress level! No need to stress out searching for restaurants and attractions at your destination. It’s much more relaxing to have everything you need right on site.
*Organize and plan in advance. Save money by researching the best deals, buying trip necessities over time (as you see deals), and planning an itinerary.
*Look closely at hotel amenities. Don’t overlook the importance of booking hotels with your desired amenities. Are you looking for a free breakfast? free airport shuttle? You will be much happier if you book at hotel with convenient amenities.
*Pack light. If traveling by plane, less luggage could save you hundreds. Bring multipurpose outfits that can be worn on several occasions, and cut out all the shoes that take up extra space!
*Plan free activities in your itinerary. The best attractions are usually those that cost nothing, such as biking and taking a nature walk. You don’t have to spend a fortune to have a fabulous time!
*Take a staycation. There is one great budget-friendly alternative, and that is to go nowhere, and instead take a fantastic staycation at home! Of course, this doesn’t mean sitting inside your home everyday having no fun, wishing you were on vacation. Instead, plan a week of visiting fun local attractions such as zoos, museums, state parks, etc. You can save hundreds by avoiding lodging and transportation costs.
How do you budget for summer travels?