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How to Save Money on Summer Vacations

Going on a summer vacation is a tradition in America, but it seems that most tourist destinations use this fact as an excuse to hike up prices. Fortunately, there are ways to save money on travel during the summer and still have a great vacation.

Flying is practically essential if you plan on leaving your immediate area. If you need to save money air fare, try a few of these tips.

Flying Tips

1. Plan to fly on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Saturday. Since many business travelers try to avoid these days, airlines offer discounted travel on these days.

2. Be sure to start checking air fare prices early. If you aim to book your air fare thirty to ninety days from when you and your family want to fly, you’ll be in the zone to get the lowest prices. Historically, airlines offer higher fares in the time frame before ninety days out to leave room so that they can adjust for higher fuel costs if needed. Within thirty days of travel, demand for seats is higher, causing the airline to charge more.

3. Try to fly from a major hub. In general, major international hubs like Los Angeles and Chicago offer airfares that are usually cheaper than flying from your local airport.

4. Watch out for last minute deals. Last minute deals on airfare are offered by nearly all of the major carriers, and if you live near a major hub they could save you a lot of money. For example, airlines will typically sell their last seat or two on flights to other major hubs for a fairly significant discount.The airlines assume that they would rather make some money by selling the seat rather than let it go empty. These deals are usually only offered on one or two seats at a time, so you will have to keep your travel party small to take advantage of them.

5. Be willing to stay overnight at a strange airport. In order to completely fill their planes, airlines offer great deals on “split” or overnight flights. These flights will require you to take the very last flight at night to an airport, stay the night, then leave on the first flight of the morning.

Driving Tips

Depending on the car you drive (and the gas mileage), it might be a good idea to get a rental car. Make sure your car insurance covers car rentals before leaving the lot.

1. Use cell phone apps to find cheap gas. Gas stations that are located near the highway typically charge more than those located off the highway. Have kids figure out if driving a little further will be worth the savings.

2. Use cruise control. Most modern vehicles will be able to use fuel more efficiently in this mode. Also, setting the car speed to the speed limit will reduce your likelihood of getting a ticket.

3. Pack lightly. Every extra one hundred pounds of stuff in your car can reduce your fuel efficiency by as much as one percent. Try to avoid carrying a lot of extra gear.

Lodging can be a major expense on any vacation. Follow these tips to save on hotels.

Lodging Tips

1. Consider options outside of hotels. Staying with friends and camping out are two great ways to avoid having to pay for hotels. Many campsites today come with amenities such as swimming pools and upscale bathrooms, making camping fun for everyone in a family. Other options can include renting a house or condo. While not as cheap as camping, these kind of places can be much more affordable than renting multiple rooms when traveling with a large group.

2. Travel during the week. Weekend rates for hotels are usually the highest. Try to plan your travel during the week to get better rates.

3. Look for discount codes and coupons. Booking online can save money, especially if you have a coupon code for the hotel chain or the booking website. Just type in the hotel name and “coupons code” into a search engine to find discounts.

The summer is a great time to go on vacation, and many people still have memories of the great family trips they took as kids. Don’t be afraid to ask for discounts and look for deals at every place you plan to travel this summer.

Author Bio: Danielle Parker is a freelance writer and a very picky consumer. Whatever she purchases, she only wants the best. Even when purchasing car insurance, she is only interested in the top rated car insurance companies.

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Date:
April 29, 2012 um 10:28 am
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