By Ayesha Haider, BA, MBA, AFC© Candidate, FINRA Military Spouse Fellow For most of us, receiving a tax refund is a...
Summer is finally here. It’s time to take time off of work and go on your summer vacation. But traveling can get very expensive, especially since almost half of your vacation budget goes towards transportation. Fear not, there are many ways to save this summer. With these few tips, you can learn to really stretch your wallet and save on your vacation.
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Summer months are some of the most expensive times to travel. Plane ticket prices rise during this period of the year. Learning which days are best to fly can actually save on your summer vacation. According to Forbes the best days to fly during the week are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday and the worst day is Sunday. It is also probably better not to fly during a week that includes a holiday, flights are always more expensive. You should also always book your flights more than 21 days in advance to get the best rates.
Hotel prices have also been steadily increasing and can really hurt your summer vacation funds. According to CNBC, hotel prices have gone up 2.9% between 2015 and 2016, and the trend is holding into 2017. A cheaper alternative to staying at a hotel is to book a vacation rental through sites like Airbnb and HomeAway. If you shop for the right deals you can book a place to stay and pay a fraction of what you would to stay at a hotel. You get the best of both worlds, the cozy feeling of home and a fun and exciting adventure.
Save On The Small Things
We all know how tempting grabbing a quick bite at the airport can be, but you’ll really hurt your wallet if you give in. The price of food and snacks in the terminals is very expensive. A good way to save on your summer vacation is to bring your own snacks and meals. Grab a few granola bars, make a small sandwich, or fill a few zip lock bags full of pretzels and stuff them in your carry-on bag. With the money you save, you can buy that awesome magnet of Hawaii in the gift shop that would look really sweet on your fridge at home.
Also, if you choose to stay in a rental property a good way of saving your vacation funds is to stock on groceries and use the kitchen to cook most of your meals. Instead of eating out for every meal eat a few “home cooked” meals. Pick only a few big meals to splurge on to dine out, and you can really stretch your money.
The Road Less Traveled
Get adventurous and visit the less traveled vacation destinations. Visiting these vacation spots can really save you some money, especially if you visit off-season areas. For example, visit the ski areas of Maine and New Hampshire and enjoy mountain biking, hiking, zip lining, archery, and paddleboarding. For the international traveler, visit countries like Canada, Thailand, and Taiwan as they have some of the cheapest airfare available.
Another great way to save is to search regional websites for cheap or free local events. Most cities are famous for something: music, art, architecture, tacos, cheese, largest ball of twine or duck tape. With this fame, there may also be a museum, park, or festival to visit, which is usually free or very cheap. Search your home state for these spots and events, and plan a staycation to save on travel.
More The Merrier
A great way to cut down on vacation costs is to split them with friends and family. Many vacation spots and hotels offer group rates, which are priced lower than individual prices. Search sites like Groupon for group vacation deals and rates. You could also save money by staying with friends and family instead of staying in a hotel. Not only does this save money, but it also can save you time in planning outings. You’re staying with a local who can guide you to all the best food and entertainment spots.
Want to learn more ways to save every day? Check out 5 Tips to Save Money.