Summer is here! And who’s ready to go on a VA-KAY-TION? I know I am. Vacations don’t have to be very costly. There are lots of ways to save when deciding on a trip — the key is planning! Staying ahead of the curve by checking deals on locations and travel options can be a little time consuming, but if you stick with it you’ll be able to save. There are many ways to save when booking a last minute flight, hotels, or rental cars through websites such as Priceline, Kayak, Bookit, Travelocity, Expedia, Hotwire…the list goes on and on. They also usually offer discounts for booking a package, which is another great way to save!
Choosing the right flight: Should you fly midweek or on the weekend? Flying midweek will be less expensive and you don’t have to worry about the weekend crowd. Some airlines will give you a cheap ticket but then charge for carry-on and checked baggage, so check the airlines policies on both before booking. There are also services like Bing, Skyscanner, Yapta, and others that will monitor trends and prices for your flight and can even notify you when prices drop!
Booking a hotel: If you are not booking a flight and hotel package, then try sites like Priceline where you can choose your location, hotel rating, and dollar amount to see if they will accept it. Make sure and check if they have any specials such as romance or anniversary packages. If it is a special occasion, ask the front desk and maybe they will give a free meal or room service!
Transportation Rental: Another place to check is car dealerships, since some dealerships offer rental cars for a low daily price. The trick is to see if there are dealerships close enough to warrant the small cab ride or other means of transportation to the dealer. Some dealers will be happy to pick you up if it’s close enough. Most rental car agencies are no longer accepting debit cards so have your credit card handy, just to be safe. Rental agencies can charge an arm and a leg for insurance on your rental, so check around on different sites before making your decision. A little time spent on researching, can be worth the savings.
Local Transportation: When staying in a major city, be sure to check local transportation such as trams, subways, buses, and even bicycle rentals. Many major cities are installing bicycle sharing stations where you can pick up a bike on one side of town and ride it to your destination and drop it off, or just rent it for the day!
Another way to save big on vacations (especially if you don’t have a specific destination in mind) is to check discount sites such as Groupon or LivingSocial, which offer travel options to a wide variety of locations around the world for great deals (but only for a limited time, so don’t miss out!). They have everything from flight and hotel options to far off locations to the local B&B around the corner that you may not have known existed. Even if you have a specific location in mind, plan ahead and monitor the sites, and you may see your destination featured as a deal.