How To Save Money on Your Next Vacation

    Like most of us, you probably love to go on vacation, but hate the expense. Below are six tips that can dramatically cut the cost of your next vacation. Instead of putting so much money toward your travel expenses, you can save it or spend it on something that really matters to you.

    1. Check out nearby airports. Many decent-sized cities have multiple airports. You might be surprised at the difference in cost. 
    • Consider looking into airports within a 50-mile radius. The money you can save might be worth an hour drive.
    1. Avoid checking your bags. Airlines have become aggressive about charging for bags you check. Look into any fees the airlines charge for checked bags; policies vary considerably. It might make sense for everyone in the family to have a carry-on to avoid those charges.
    2. Think big. If a large group is travelling with you, you might be better off renting a house or a large suite with a kitchenette.

     Get some friends to travel with you, and your trip may be even more economical. You can split the rental fees and you might even have more fun in the process. 

    • Not only can you save money on your accommodations, you can prepare your own food. You can save a lot by eating in. If you want to spend that money while on vacation, put it toward something you’ll remember 10 years from now. That’s probably not going to be food!
    1. Consider your travel days. Some days can be much less expensive for flights than others. Look at all your options. The same situation applies to hotel rooms; the rates often vary widely by the day. Some real savings can be found here. 
    • One note: house and villa rentals are frequently by the week. However, some rentals are Friday-Sunday or Monday-Thursday. Weekend rates can be much costlier than weekdays. See if your plans will allow you to take advantage of the lower-priced days.
    1. Go during the off-peak season. Off-peak travel seasons may not work if you have children, since school can be an issue. But if you don’t have kids, the savings can be considerable. Hotel rooms, car rentals, and flights can all be much less expensive. 
    • An airline ticket to Europe can be half the regular cost during certain times of the year, saving you hundreds of dollars on each ticket. 
    • Not only will you spend less money, but the crowds are much smaller.
    • In many places, like Florida, the beach can be a lot more comfortable in May or October than it is in July.
    1. Stay home. You may be surprised how many French people have never been to Paris. Or how many people from Arizona have never seen the Grand Canyon. Try looking locally for destinations. Have you fully taken advantage of what your area has to offer? 
    • A vacation with a day spent at the amusement park, another day at the beach, another exploring the woods, and another site-seeing, all while sleeping in your own bed at night might be the perfect vacation for you and your family. 

    To really cut vacation costs, use as many of these tips as your situation will allow. A vacation doesn’t have to be financially painful. Plus, you may have more fun doing something out of the ordinary. And you may even save enough for another vacation!

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