Summer’s the perfect time to take a vacation, but worrying about the expense can make it more stressful than refreshing. Here are some cost-trimming tips that will let you spend less time worrying about money and more time relaxing!
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1. Take advantage of coupons. Look online, in the newspaper, in stores and motels or to your travel provider for coupons that will save you money on food, lodging, events and attractions.
2. Be flexible with your travel times. You can sometimes save on the cost of a plane ticket by departing or arriving on a different day than you originally planned or even at a different time of day. And do sign up for rewards programs, even if you don’t travel frequently – the services are free, and you may qualify at some point.
3. Travel in groups. Plan a vacation with a few friends or family members to take advantage of group discounts. Book your airline and hotel reservations at the same time to take advantage of package deals.
4. Go light. Many airlines are now charging you to check even one bag – plan to check only one suitcase per person, and avoid using oversized bags. Better yet, travel light with carryon bags only!
5. Rent a car. Believe it or not, this can actually save you money – particularly when compared with the cost of an airport shuttle. You’ll also have the advantage of being able to carry your bags more easily, avoid the cost of a cab, and save wear and tear on your own car. Keep in mind that smaller vehicles are not only cheaper – they generally use less gas, too. Fill the tank yourself before turning in the car – the agency will charge you for a full tank of gas (at their high prices) even if it just needs to be topped off.
6. Stay in a nearby town instead of the town or city you’re visiting. Staying in a small town just a 15- or 20-minute car or train ride away could save a lot of money on hotel rates.
7. Use public transportation. Taxis may be the easiest way to get from point A to point B, but the cost can add up fast. When not using a rental car, rely on trains and buses instead – public transit is much cheaper, and often easier, too.
8. Look for discounts at your destination. Theme parks, museums and other attractions often offer discounts to senior citizens, students, auto club members and children. Make sure to bring your ID and membership cards with you to prove you qualify.
9. Skip the attractions for a day. If you’re spending several days at a vacation destination, take some time away from the attractions. Relax by the hotel swimming pool – your body will thank you for the break and you’ll have more energy for later. After all, you’re paying for it!
10. Stay close to home. Flying off to an exotic location can be exciting, but sticking close to home can be fun and interesting, too – not to mention more affordable! It will also be less of a hassle to get there.
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With a little planning, you’ll be able to travel affordably – and less stressfully. Bon voyage!
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Have a travel cost-saving tip of your own? Share it in the comments section below.