Simply Sweet Home

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Saturday, June 21, 2008

Tips & Strategies for Vacation Savings, Part 1



Nearly everyone is looking for ways to save money on their family vacations this year. And since I'm always looking to save money myself, I put together a list of money saving tips for vacations. Here's the first half of the list. Look for the 2nd half in the next day or two. Hope you're all having a great weekend!
  1. Plan, plan, plan. Check the internet to learn all about the place your going for vacation, or get the information mailed to you. If you know about all the attractions ahead of time, and how much each activity costs, you can plan a more organized itenirary and it's easier for you to create and stick to a budget.
  2. Don't go out of town for major holidays.
  3. Travel to a destination that's closer to home to save on gas.
  4. For better hotel rates, take trips in the middle of the week rather than going on the weekend.
  5. Don't stay at hotels that are within big cities and close to major tourist attractions. Last year we visited Gettysburg, and we stayed outside of the town, around 15 to 20 minutes away, and we paid 25-50% less than what we would have paid to stay in town.
  6. If you plan to fly, book your flights at least several weeks (if not months) in advance.
  7. If you don't have school kids, then plan your vacation for another time of year besides summer. The idea of taking a vacation in January may not sound too pleasing, but there are plenty of destinations that have perfect weather in January, whether you like the snow or the beach, and fairs and hotel rates will be cheaper during this time.
  8. Before booking flights and hotels, check several leading travel websites to compare prices, and also consider calling the hotel you're considering for further information and perhaps a better price.
  9. Beware of sites that offer a free gas card for booking your hotel with them. Often certain restrictions apply, (ie - you have to stay on a particular weekend when the hotel price is higher...therefore, you don't actually save anything)
  10. Rather than opting for a big expensive vacation, do some research to find a less expensive destination. There are plenty of fun and interesting places to see that don't cost an arm and a leg.






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