Video:Spend Less on a Vacationwith Jonathon E. Stewart
Saving money on vacations doesn't have to be a drag. These tips make spending less easy and fun, and give you more time to rest and relax on your holiday.See Transcript
Transcript:Spend Less on a VacationCounting the days ‘til your next vacation? Getting away from the daily grind is something we all look forward to, though footing the bill isn’t. But taking some time off to rest your body and brain doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg.
Whether you’re heading to far away destinations or traveling close to home, saving money on your vacation can be a great way to either extend your time off, or keep a few more dollars in your piggy bank.
And you don’t have to be a miser or a cheapskate to do it. Just take a few extra measures when you’re planning your getaway, and watch the savings roll in.
Be Flexible With DatesFirst and foremost, if you can, be as flexible as possible when planning your travel dates. Travel during non-peak or off-season time periods can save you up to 50% on airline tickets, car rentals, and accommodations. Many online search engines will allow you to search for a range of dates around your ideal ones, allowing you to find the cheapest rates.
Take Advantage of MembershipsAnd on the subject of flying, driving, and sleeping, always be sure to log in using your frequent flier, rental car, or hotel membership numbers. You do have these, right? Registering for miles or other frequent traveler accounts is fast, easy, and free. Some give you bonuses right up front for registering, and the more you travel over the years, the more your rewards and discounts will stack up.
Also be sure to look for other discounts for being affiliated with clubs or unions you may belong to. AAA, your work’s credit union, or even your credit card companies may offer deals that can help you out.
Research Online For DealsAlways be sure to check multiple sources online when you’re researching any aspect of your vacation. When speaking with reservations agents at hotels or other companies, always ask to see if you’re getting the lowest rate they can offer, or if they have the ability to give you an complimentary upgrade. Sounds silly right? Well, maybe so, but when you’re sitting in a deluxe suite with ocean views for the price of a courtyard twin standard just for asking, see how silly you feel then.
Pack Your Own FoodPacking your own food can help you from paying the exorbitant rates charged by airport eateries, or fast food restaurants along the interstate. Staying in a hotel that has a small kitchenette or mini-fridge can give you the leeway to prepare some of your meals or snacks at your home base, too.
Look For Affordable AccommodationIf you and your family are up for a little adventure, camping can be a great way to enjoy a thrifty holiday. And, if you have friends in the area you’re visiting, staying in a guest room or basement can save you hundreds of dollars, too.
Just remember old Benny F’s golden rule about fish and house guests -- they both start to smell after three days.
I’m Jonathon Stewart with About.com.
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