Tips to Save Money on Your Summer Vacation

The following is a post from staff writer Crystal at Budgeting in the Fun Stuff, where she writes about finding the balance between paying your bills, saving for your future, and budgeting for the fun stuff along the way.

Our summer vacation is right around the corner and we are looking for the best deal. In fact, I am refusing to buy our tickets before I find a great deal. If you follow these five tips, you will enjoy your vacation even more knowing that you didn’t overpay for your trip.

Fly on Wednesdays

You may not have known that you can save money on air travel by flying during the week. If you want to save money on your vacation, avoid flying on Fridays and Sundays since they are the two busiest days of the week to fly. The cheapest day of the week to fly is Wednesday and I’ve also found great deals on Tuesdays. Flying during the week will save you a ton.

Contact the Hotel Directly

You should never pay full price when booking any hotel room. Sites like Hotels.com, Travelocity, Priceline, and Hotwire.com offer great specials that will save you a ton of money on your hotel stay. You can also visit a company’s website to see if any specials or deals are being run while you are in town. It may sound old fashioned, but you can also save money by calling a hotel directly and asking for their best rate. I found an $18 special rate at the Four Queens in Las Vegas 3 years ago simply by taking a look at their website at the right time.

Sign up for Membership and Loyalty Programs

Your credit card company and local credit union may have free programs that can save you 10 to 20 percent off of your car rental. Membership companies like AAA and AARP usually can get you some discounts too. You can even get additional savings by signing up for loyalty programs at car rental company websites.

Travel Light

There was a time that you could take all of the luggage that you wanted onto a plane for no additional cost. Obviously, times have changed. Many airlines are charging $25 to check one bag and $35 or more for each additional bag. You could easily wind up paying a couple hundred dollars for your family’s luggage. If you want to save money, be sure to pack light. Even consider checking for airlines with nicer luggage policies like Southwest Airlines.

Take a Vacation During the Offseason

Travel is a lot more expensive during the months of July and August because school is out. You can save a lot of money on your vacation by taking it during the offseason. You can travel to some of the nicest places in the world at a HUGE discount if you do it during the fall or spring months. My husband and I cannot take advantage of this particular advice since he is a school librarian, but I hope all of you can!

What other vacation/travel tips can you think of? Have I missed any really great ones?

8 Responses to Tips to Save Money on Your Summer Vacation

  1. Totally agree that one can save money on traveling by employing some basic strategies. One that I’ve used is getting discounted hotel rooms. Actually, I don’t even consider the “rack rate” to be the real rate, as there’s no reason to pay standard price. Personally, I’ve used Priceline to get some excellent rates on very good rooms at very good hotels.

  2. krantcents says:

    The Internet has made it so easy to discover deals for everything including travel. I use my frequent flier miles and discounts to make my vacations more affordable.

  3. MoneyIsTheRoot says:

    Farecompare will automatically email you when the rate on your flight drops in price.

    Flying on Wednesday would be fine if I didnt have to contend with a 3 hour time difference and then being forced to work on a Thursday when I return.

    I tried using a hotel site for my trip to los angeles this summer, and unfortunately both hotels I want to stay in arent listed on the site. I wouldve taken anything on the beach, but apparently those hotels dont care about discount sites.

  4. Miss T @ Prairie Eco-Thrifter says:

    I would add using your feet. Save money on rental cars and walk instead. Most cities are laid out well for foot travelers.

    I would also add use free wifi. There are so many places where you can pick up a signal that don’t cost you a dime.

    • @Miss T @ Prairie Eco-Thrifter, I just started using Wi-Fi on vacation since I blog. I used to actually unplug and ignore the internet for a week, lol. Now I think I could make it 3 days before my head would just explode. :-)

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