4 Ways to Save on Your Summer Vacation

The weather is finally warming up and you may be dreaming about your vacation this summer. Travel doesn’t have to break the bank. If you’re looking for ways to save on your vacation, consider these four tips.

Drive

Airfare is continuing to rise. The average roundtrip domestic airfare, including taxes, in 2013 was $363. If you’re single, that may not sound like a lot. But if you are a family of four, airfare alone could cost you $1,452. To save money, consider driving instead (if you have a reliable car or van). You’ll also see a lot more along the way.

Stay Close to Home

When the economy sank in 2008, the term “staycations” became popular. It may not sound too exciting to stay in your hometown or region for a vacation, but if you’re open-minded, there are probably lots of fun activities that you’ve never done because everyday life gets in the way. Look for museums, wineries, festivals, amusement parks, concerts, art fairs, etc. Consider it a challenge to plan and enjoy an entire week off in your own neck of the woods. You may discover a whole new appreciation for your hometown.

Earn Rewards

Do you use a cash back credit card or mileage card? If not, you should consider one for the rewards. If you are a responsible spender, and not in credit card debt, these cards offer discounts and miles toward your summer adventure. Research reward card options on CreditCards.com. If you enjoy flexibility, consider a cash back card. You’ll earn a percentage (usually 1%) back for every dollar you spend. Most cash back cards also offer special promotions during certain months such as 5% cash back at restaurants. Over time you could cash in your cash back bonus on travel expenses.  

Double Up

Another great money saver for travelers is sharing lodging expenses with a fellow traveler or even another family. Grab a friend for a weekend getaway and slash your hotel room fees in half by sharing a double room. Or, organize a family weekend at the lake with another family and rent a vacation home for a week and split the cost. A short weekend trip is a good way to see if you enjoy traveling with others. If you find that you do, you can plan a longer trip together in the future.

Denene Brox is a Kansas City-based freelance writer. 

Image credit: Darren Robertson/freedigitalphotos.net