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Planning the Perfect (and Cheapest) Summer Vacation

Planning the Perfect (and Cheapest) Summer Vacation

It’s just about midway through summertime and we all know what that means. That travel bug has begun to itch, and you can’t seem to stop thinking about getting away for some well-deserved R&R. Unfortunately, luxury trips are usually not free and the last thing you want to do during your vacation is stress about how much money your vacation is costing you! So, buckle up (literally) and get ready for the best (and possibly cheapest) road-trip of your life with these easy-to-follow tips for saving money on your dream getaway.

1.) Gas
It’s no doubt that driving is significantly less expensive than flying. Yet, driving still has its costs, namely in gas. Here’s how to save at the pump:

  • Purchase discount gas cards—you can buy gas cards at sites like www.PlasticJungle.com, www.giftcardgranny.com, and www.cardpool.com . Sure, it may not seem like the savings are huge, but saving money is still saving money, people!
  • Drive conservatively—you are not the next Speed Racer so don’t drive like you are. Sudden movements, rapid acceleration, weaving in-and-out or traffic, and stop-and-go driving eats away at your gas, causing you to refill more frequently. Also, cruise-control is a great way to conserve fuel once you hit the highway.
  • Buy at the right time—here’s a little known secret: gas prices tend to go up Thursday afternoon and stay inflated until after the weekend has passed. Go to the pump before the price rise occurs.

2.) Lodging
Once you get to where you are going, it is time to focus on getting the best price you can wherever you stay.

  • Stay with a friend or family member—this sounds like a very simple solution to cutting down travel costs dramatically, yet many people simply forget that it can be an option. This includes staying at people in your inner circle’s beach houses, mountain houses, etc.
  • Stay in a nearby town—if you are planning on going to a big city, chances are lodging prices will be much higher than if you were to stay just a few miles outside of the city. So choose a place just outside of the major town and deal with a few added minutes of driving.
  • Take advantage of the internet—websites make it easy for you. There are so many places that are all trying to get you the best rate possible. Check out www.expedia.com, www.travelocity.com, and www.kayak.com to compare rates and get the best deal.

3.) Entertainment
Alright, so you have a way to get there and a place to sleep once you arrive. But the whole point of a vacation is to have some fun. Cheers to saving on entertainment:

  • Check for local discounts—after you decide where you want to go, peruse the internet for local deals and discounts in that location. You’d be surprised what you can find. There also may be festivals, shows, races, or other fun things going on that you can simply walk around and observe for free!
  • Lunch is the most important meal—eating can in and of itself be a source of entertainment. To save on meals, stock up during lunch. Having dinner as your biggest meal means spending the most, because that’s when prices are highest. Load up on lunch and nibble throughout the rest of the day.
  • Enjoy the simple things—take a walk or bike ride through the city and discover the landscape; take in all the natural (and free) beauty! Window shopping can also be a fun thing to do that takes no money at all.

 

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