Planning Ahead: How to Save Money on Summer Vacations

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Let’s face it – vacations can be pretty pricey. In the summer of 2010, the average American tourist spent $1,000 per person on vacation. It’s not like anyone expects to go on vacation for free… but isn’t a $1,000 a bit much? There are plenty of ways to save money on your summer vacation without sacrificing fun and comfort.

  • The key is to plan ahead. Doing things at the spur of the moment tends to cost more money as you don’t have the time and flexibility to look for the best deal. That’s why you should try planning your summer vacations weeks, if not months, ahead of time. For example, if you start planning early, if a particular airline is having a special sale, you can cash in on that. Scout out some discount websites that specialize in finding amazing airline deals and make sure you’re on their mailing lists so you can be notified when tickets go on sale.

  • It also wouldn’t hurt to be flexible regarding your destination. You may have your heart set on going to Paris or London, but those are very popular tourist destinations, which means you’ll be paying more for airline tickets, car rentals and hotel rooms. If you pick a less popular destination, you’ll pay less. And if you happen to find a fantastic deal online but it’s not the destination you want… well, if you book early enough you’ll have some time to persuade yourself otherwise. When coming up with a tourist destination, it can sometimes pay to go abroad to another country where the dollar is strong.

  • If you do Internet comparison shopping properly, you may be able to find some fantastic travel packages and deals. Always check to see which online booking site is offering the best deal on hotels, but don’t rely solely on the Internet – call the actual hotel to see if they might be offering a better rate. Keep in mind that each time you call, you might get a different price quoted to you – oftentimes hotels are not consistent in their rates. If you don’t like the first rate, call again – maybe it will be a better one. Take the time to check out all the different accommodations available – a hotel isn’t your only choice. You can look into house swapping, university dorms, hostels and motels as well.

  • Plan you meals ahead of time. When you are on vacation, do not make a habit of popping into restaurants for breakfast, lunch and dinner. You can save loads of money if you actually cook your own meals or buy items at the grocery store. You can buy a disposable grill at the grocery store, or bring along a sandwich maker or camping burner to make lunch. It may be possible to get a refrigerator or microwave in your hotel room, and you can purchase a little cooler so you can bring things like cheese or cold cuts on day trips.

 

This was compiled by the team from Car Rental Express.

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