It’s no secret planning the summer vacation you’ve been dreaming about can become costly. When you start factoring in travel, lodging, dining, and activities, the expenses can add up quickly. Here are ways to get creative and make your summer getaway more affordable, and every bit as fun!
Plan in Advance
Seems simple enough, right? Getting ahead of your vacation planning can assure you get the lowest prices. It also allows the opportunity to shop and compare pricing on airlines and hotel accommodations.
Choose the Deal, Not the Destination
Sometimes it’s best to work backwards. Instead of choosing where you want to go first, let the cheapest prices available help you decide on the destination. Planning your vacation around the discounted packages available will help you have fun in the sun, without breaking your budget.
Save When You Fly
Even with discounted airlines available, flights for the family aren’t cheap. The easiest way to save is to pack smart and efficiently.
Checking your luggage at the airport can be costly; to best counteract baggage fees, combine your suitcases with your travel partner or maximize your carry-on and personal items, which can result in saving hundreds of dollars. For most airlines, you are allotted one carry-on and personal item at no extra cost, so be sure to take advantage of this.
Take Advantage of Rewards
Whether it’s a credit card you use frequently, customer loyalty points you have racked up, or frequent flyer miles, now is the time to redeem. Plan your vacation around the rewards you’ve accumulated – this is why they’re offered! From discounted stays, flights, or entertainment, you can have the vacation you want for less.
Find your perfect low-rate, reward earning credit card today.
Vacation Closer to Home
Frequently, depending on where you live, a great destination resides within a day’s drive of home. Take Cincinnati for example, there are countless places to visit within a 6-8 hour drive, including:
- Lexington, KY
- Louisville, KY
- Cleveland, OH
- Detroit, MI
- Indianapolis, IN
- Nashville, TN
- Gatlinburg, TN
- Asheville, NC
- Atlanta, GA
- Pittsburgh, PA
- Chicago, IL
- Milwaukee, WI
- St. Louis, MO
By traveling someplace within driving distance, you can not only explore a new city and the sights along the way, you can also save hundreds on airfare.
Avoid Peak Season
Have your mind set on your travel destination? The best course of action to appease your budget is to avoid peak seasons.
Price out your stay for different times throughout the summer months. By choosing to go a few weeks earlier in the summer, you can have the same great vacation for much cheaper.
Save on Dining
Yes, it’s important to price out travel and lodging, but don’t forget about daily expenses like food! Does your hotel offer complimentary breakfast? Do you have a kitchen where you can cook meals and dine in throughout your stay?
If you must eat out during your stay, avoid the “touristy” options where you are vacationing. Opt for restaurants that are off the beaten path, which can lead to a cheaper, more authentic experience.
Vacation with Family or Friends
Taking trips with larger groups can help you save big money by sharing a house or other accommodations. Dividing up the costs can benefit everyone’s budget.
You may also have family or friends that live near a desired destination. Assuming you are welcome to stay, you can save on lodging by visiting your loved ones.
Select an All-Inclusive Resort
At first, this may seem to be the most expensive option; however, when you consider all that is included in these packages, it may be the best route. With airfare, lodging, food, drinks, and in some cases excursions all included, the best bang for your buck could be an all-inclusive resort.
The summer travel season is upon us, and like anything, research, research, research! There are countless options to save on your next vacation, you just have to be willing to look for the best deals and remain flexible.