Summer Travel on a Budget

Reconsider Renting

Renting out at a condo, apartment, or house is almost always cheaper than staying at a hotel - especially when you factor in cooking your own meals. If it's a longer trip you're planning (1 week or more) find a rental that's nearby a town or sites you want to see.  For vacation rentals, check out Vrbo, or look into swapping houses or trading condos with HomeExchange.com. If you want to book a hotel, make sure to call the hotel directly, and rather for asking what specials they offer be sure to ask for the lowest price. If you can, book at a newer hotel- they often offer the cheapest rates when they're just starting out and trying to make a name for themselves.  Request a corner room for more space.

 

Booking Cheap Flights & Frequent Flyer Miles

When booking a flight, sites like Travelocity, Expedia, and Kayak can help you compare rates, but often the best fares are reserved for the airline's direct website. Also "Like" and "Follow" airlines and travel websites social networking sites, which often offer low-priced, limited time offers. Calling airlines or travel agencies directly is also the best way to ensure the lowest price. Sign up for a frequent flyer mile program from your preferred airline and start banking on the miles you've already flown! If you saved the confirmation numbers or emails from past flights, you can even request airlines incorporate those if you're just signing up. Frequent flyer miles don't just accumulate when you travel- they rack up when you shop, stay at a hotel, and most airlines even offer a few thousand when you first sign up.

Clubhotel Riu Negril, Jamaica

Look into All-Inclusive

Although the term sounds expensive, all-inclusive can often be the cheapest and easiest option if you're traveling with family and kids. If you do your research right, starting at just $100 a night, you're guaranteed three meals a day, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, a beach view, and fabulous amenities. Check out the ClubHotel Riu, starting at just $101 a night, an all-inclusive resort in Negril, Jamaica featuring two 3,000 square feet pools and discounts on spa services such as $20 per person toward a 50-minute massage (massages start at $100).

 

Roadtripping? Learn How to Save on the Road

If you're driving at all to/from your destination, make sure you're learning how to save on road trip expenses. Download free travel apps, such as GasBuddy, to locate the cheapest and nearest gas stations.  Drive smoothly and at a moderate speed, and make sure your tires are full to minimize gas guzzling.  If you're renting a car make sure to say no to many of the extra features they'll try to pile on - it'll save you serious cash. Once you've reached your destination, use the public transit.  Look up buses, trains, subways, bike rentals, or even walking paths to get you from point A to point B.