Summer is a time to have fun in the sun, go on vacation, right? But what if you're low on cash or, worse, in debt?
You don't need to visit an expensive all-inclusive resort to have a memorable summer vacation. The following infographic is full of helpful tips on how to be frugal during your time off.
There are many ways to save money in summer travel, you just have to know where to look.
Sun, Sand, Surf... And Savings
Check out these tips to cut costs and save money on your next summer getaway.
Here Are The Tips For That Vacation:
Save When Booking for your Vacation
First of all, it's smart to strive for savings when deciding where you should stay and how you're going to get there. Travel experts suggest booking as early as possible, which, at this point, means you should be ready to book early.
Here are some other notable ways to save on your travel booking.
Be Flexible With Your Vacation Destination
When it comes to spring break travel it should involve comparison shopping. Choose a destination that is traditionally cheaper than others.
"They all seem to be directed at Daytona Beach, Cancun, Corporal, Puerto Vallarta or places in California for spring break," Anderson says. "But I highly recommend looking farther afield for a cheaper spring break."
For example, look at Hollywood, Floridainstead of Daytona Beach, or Samana Bay in the Dominican Republicinstead of Punta Cana. You can find lower prices if you are willing to travel a little off the beaten path, and if you are willing to consider multiple destinations with similar characteristics.
A website such as Google Flights can help you compare flight prices to multiple destinations, all in one place. If you're looking for cheap flights, consider a membership service such as Thrifty Traveler Premium to get cheap flights delivered to your inbox every day.
Not Necessarily Saturday to Saturday Travel
Avoid flying during the week. For example, see if you can leave Friday afternoon instead of Saturday morning. Fares may be even lower if you fly Sunday to Sunday or Monday to Monday.
The same is true for hotels. Where weekend prices tend to be higher, you may get some savings by booking a shorter spring break getaway in the middle of the week.
Compare Prices At Condominiums, Hotels And Resorts
You should always use a hotel company's best rate guarantee. Take the time to search third-party sites to see if the same booking through sites like Expedia or Kayak costs less than booking directly with the hotel. Keep in mind, however, that the booking has to be exactly the same, as in, same dates, same room type and same cancellation policies.
Also, look to "bundle" your vacation to get a better deal. For example, you may pay less overall when you use an online travel agent to book a vacation package that includes your hotel and flights for one price.
Search for Additional Rates
To save yourself some extra money, watch out for additional fees on your reservations. These can include taxes that are added on at the end of your reservation, resort fees and booking fees. If you're comparing vacation homes or condos on sites like Airbnb y VrboAlso, be sure to compare the final price of the reservation after taking into account the owner's fees, service fees and cleaning fees.
Also, be aware of fees such as checked baggage fees. There are several ways you can avoid these fees.
Use Travel Rewards & Cash Back
Travel expert Greg Johnson of Thrifty Club says to see if you have any additional rewards you can use for flights, hotels and more. For example, check to see if you have unused air miles you can use for flights or better seats, or see if you have extra hotel points you can use for some free nights.
Find Free Things To Do
Look for free activities, which may be easier with some types of travel than others. If you're on a cruise ship, for example, skip the casino in favor of free evening shows and sunbathing poolside. If you're at a resort, check the calendar to see what the staff has planned for you to participate in, or see, for free. Many spring break resorts offer free extras such as movie nights by the pool, karaoke parties or trivia nights.
Be Strategic With Food Spending
Food can be a real budget decider, especially if you consider dining out as part of the travel experience.
However, you can always be picky about the meals you eat out for, or you can combine meals for greater savings. For example, you can eat brunch and dinner instead of breakfast, lunch and dinner. You can also opt to dine out only for lunch instead of dinner on some days, which is often much cheaper.
Meanwhile, you can maximize your savings if you stay at a hotel where breakfast is included in the nightly rate. In that case, you may only pay for dinner and a snack each day by eating a little later instead of three meals every day.