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Money-saving tips for your next vacation

Posted: 3:23 PM, May 12, 2016
Updated: 2016-05-12 18:23:04-04

Itching for a summer vacation but tight on cash? With smart planning and preparation you can get away and enjoy a little rest and relaxation. Desert Schools Federal Credit Union offers these tips for helping you save money on your next trip.

Getting There

The airline industry has gone through many changes – mergers, acquisitions route adjustments and more. With these changes, the airlines are also vying for your dollars. This can give customers the advantage as airlines aim to make fares competitive. Finding the best fare is the trick. There are many new flight apps and online sites such as Hopper and Hipmunk that provide guidance on when to buy your tickets and which airlines are offering the cheapest flights. Another idea is to compare two one-way tickets. Buying round-trip tickets is not always the least expensive option today. Finally, purchasing up to 6-8 weeks before your trip will most likely result in the lowest price. Additionally, remember that flying mid-week and at off-peak times like early morning or late evening will result in cheaper fares.

Putting Your Feet Up

Similar to airline tickets, hotel room rates can vastly vary depending on when you plan to check in and leave.  A cheaper option may be to arrive mid-week and depart before the weekend rush. If staying at that grand resort isn’t an option because of your budget, there may still be many amenities you can enjoy during the day. Often times, resorts sell day passes to access the pool, spa or gym. Restaurants and bars are also an easy to way take in the property even if you are not technically a guest of the hotel. Finally, lodging alternatives like airbnb.com or VRBO.com offer vacation rentals at cheaper rates than large hotel chains, and often offer more space than a single room. 

On the Ground

Eating out and exploring new restaurants can be part of the fun while in a new city, but it can also be very expensive. Instead of eating out for three meals a day, find a local grocery store and stock up on snacks, easy breakfast items and bottled water. Simply eating “in” for one meal a day will save you a lot of money over the course of your vacation.

If you like to pack your vacation with activities and excursions, planning ahead for this is also a smart way to save money. Websites like Groupon and LivingSocial offer discounts on tours, activities and show tickets – you simply need to keep an eye on these offers in advance to snag them when they become available in your destination city.

Trying to stay financially fit? Check out more money-saving stories in our  Financial Fitness Zone  .