Summer is just around the corner. Are you looking forward to some fun in the sun? It’s time to plan your summer vacation without breaking the bank. Here are a few tips on how to keep your summer vacation affordable.
Save on gas: Try a one-tank trip
Rather than sitting in the car all day to get to your destination, try taking a one-tank mini trip. There are probably some amazing attractions nearby that you have never visited. Figure out how far you can go on a single tank of gas, and then figure out what cities, attractions, and landmarks are within that radius. Try googling a one-tank trip from your location; you may find some great ideas.
Save when you fly
Airlines now try to charge for everything from food to luggage. Try bringing along snacks for the flight rather than buying them in-flight or at the airport. For the kids, bring activities, books, and tablets to keep them entertained during the flight versus buying in-flight entertainment. Try to bring activities from home that they haven’t seen or used in a while.
As for luggage, most airlines allow adults and children to bring one personal item to go under the seat in front of you and one bag to put in the overhead compartment. Take advantage of this and bring on the full number of items your group is allowed. This could save you from checking luggage all together!
Airline tickets can get pricy. Try searching on sites like Kayak and Expedia for deals. Be flexible about what days you travel. Sometimes leaving a day before or after your original plan could provide you a cost-saving opportunity. Do you automatically delete all your junk mail? Wait, there may be some hidden gems in there. Airlines and companies like Travelzoo often send out newsletters or alerts of weekly or monthly deals and sales.
Eat on the cheap
Obviously you need sustenance to keep your energy up while you travel, but eating out every meal can add up. Book a room with a kitchen, and try having breakfast and snacks each day in the room. This is a great way to save a few extra bucks. If your room doesn’t come equipped with a kitchen, check to see if continental breakfast is available. This could save you 5-10 dollars per person per day. Oh and don’t forget to stick a piece of fruit in your bag as a quick snack for later!
Plan your meals ahead of time. Try looking on restaurants.com to get a gift certificate for the restaurants that are popular at your destination. You often can find great deals like a $50 gift card for $40.
Try a multi-family trip
Go in on a house for your vacation with one or more families. Lots of popular mountain and beach locations will have houses that can accommodate multiple families. Switch off watching the kids and making meals, so you get some time for yourself.
If you can’t orchestrate a multi-family trip, try renting a house for your own family. Renting a house could cut dining-out dollars as well as other miscellaneous expenses like purchasing the Internet. Plus, some properties come with pools, beach access, and other perks that your family can enjoy.