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4 Ways to Save on Vacation

Posted On: May 22nd, 2018

Like most people, I have an extensive list of places I want to visit. Apart from time, the biggest obstacle to all my travel plans is ... you guessed it … money. But actually, traveling doesn’t have to be expensive. When it comes to booking a vacation, at home or abroad, there are many different ways to save money. For example, I have a friend who recently flew out from Dayton to Las Vegas for the weekend for $120 round trip! How amazing is that? She always has the best adventures, but doesn’t bankrupt herself in the process. She has agreed to let me in on some of her secrets.

  1. Be Smart About Your Flight: Make sure you do all your research. If you aren’t quite ready to book those flights, set up prices alerts. This way you are automatically notified when the price drops. If you are ready to travel you can save some money by taking a flight at a more undesirable time, like the early morning flights. Also, if you can be flexible with your dates you may save a little more. Flying on a weekday or on a holiday, for instance, usually results in cheaper air fares. Consider flying into a nearby airport. Smaller, regional ones often offer lower fares. If you don’t yet have a set destination in mind, sites such as Kayak or Google Flights will give you a range of airfare prices for various locations. This is how my travel-savvy friend got her amazing deal!   
  2. Avoid Peak Season: During peak season prices are hiked up and areas are more crowded. Why not wait until the peak season is over? You get better prices and don’t have to fight the crowds. There is a downside to this, though. The weather may not be as nice or tourist destinations may have limited hours or not be open at all. If the off-season doesn’t sound appealing to you, why not consider the shoulder season? The shoulder season is the time between the peak and off seasons, usually in fall and spring. The weather is still good, but the prices and the crowds are less. We just recently booked a trip to Acadia National Park (I can’t wait!) in the shoulder season and were able to save a decent amount of money.
  3. Consider Not Staying at a Hotel: There are many options for lodging other than a hotel. Depending on where you are going you could rough it and tent camp. Camping is relatively cheap; you can find a campsite for around $30 a night, the only downside is you have to bring a lot of stuff. You could also rent a house. Thanks to the Internet there are plenty of websites dedicated to renting a vacation home. The one most have heard of is Airbnb. They often have lower prices than hotels, plus you get a full kitchen, which would help save money on food because you don’t have to eat out. The downside is you don’t really know what you are getting into until you are there. If you choose to go this route I encourage you to do your research to make sure you aren’t taken advantage of. Forbes has a great article on vacation rental scams. Another option is to house sit. You can find free or low-cost accommodations just by caring for someone’s home and/or pets. Visit Hecktic Travels for all the details on house sitting.  
  4.                 Check for Last-Minute Deals: A lot of times, major booking websites such as Hotwire or Expedia will offer last-minute package deals for a fraction of the normal price. Another place to look for good vacation deals is Groupon. Sometimes they have package deals or deals that include airfare. The downside is those deals usually have specific dates and/or airports so make sure you double check before you book.

Hopefully some of these tricks save you money on your next vacation! I know I am going to try a few out! You can send me your money-saving tips or vacation photos at Val@rivervalleycu.org or through Facebook. For more fun check out my blog at https://www.rivervalleycu.org/val. Happy travels!