Things are pricey right now. Airfares are expensive and gas prices are up—which should not mean you can not plan a vacation for reasonable costs. The trick is to think smart.
Penny Pinching Hints advises you first to have a budget. Start with an overall budget that should help you decide what you can actually afford. Then create a daily budget that has the maximum you can pay for accommodations and food. If you go under the daily budget, you can then plan your entertainment.
Next is to decide where you might go to save. Close to home is always better. Also, think about places that have had recent events that meant added rooms and restaurants. Now those events are over, you might benefit from the loss of clientele. National Parks and camping grounds offer cheaper vacations, too.
Rental cars are cheaper at off-airport locations. Use a cab or public transportation to go in-town to rent a car.
And: Gas up your car before returning it. The gas prices at the rental agency are higher.
Some large hotel chains have concierge floors. The rate is more expensive, but on these floors you will find lounges with free breakfasts, complimentary newspapers, and free cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, which may offset the rate with higher savings.
And: Request a free upgrade when you arrive at a hotel. You may just get lucky.
Airfare discounts are offered Fridays to Mondays. Come Tuesday night, however, not everyone has paid for those flight reservations within the required 24 hours, so on Wednesdays at 12:00 a.m. some of these discounts are back. Check them out, but be sure you have the right time zone for where the airline’s base is located.
Sometimes you might get the cheapest rate is at the evry last minute. Don’t despair: you can find last minute flight deals at Expedia.com and/or
And: The best time to fly to save in midday on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday.
Booking a vacation package generally is the best deal. You can pay for airfare, accommodations, meals, and even taxes and entertainment. These prices can save you money. PennyPinchingHints suggests that a good place to check for Top Vacation Package Deals is at Expedia.com.
Other Savings Tips:
- If you’re traveling with your family ask for a family suite which is larger and better than booking two single rooms. Carry sleeping bags with you for the kids.
- Carry sodas and candy. They can stave off hunger attacks that happen just when you have to buy expensive bottled drinks or treats.
- Plan your eating strategically. Eat your big meal at lunch time while the prices are cheaper. You can also split plates with children.
Don’t stay at home because you think you can’t afford a summer vacation. Just be smart about planning your vacation so you can both save and afford for a time away from it all.
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