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Five Ways to Save on Your Summer Travel Plans

Make summer vacation more memorable by using these 5 Ways to save!

You may have become more accustomed to minding your pocketbook when it comes to spending for non-essential items, but that doesn’t mean you should have to skip your regular summer getaway. If you expect to hit the road, careful planning can make a difference.  Here are five tips to help you keep costs in check without sacrificing fun during your summer break:

1. Check all of your options for pricing

The Internet affords you the opportunity to compare prices and look for the best deals on airline tickets, hotels and rental cars. In some circumstances, a package that includes a combination of hotel and tickets to events or theme parks may save you money. When it comes to lodging, you may want to contact the hotel directly to see if they can make a better offer than what is available online or through a travel agent. Check out user ratings and comments about hotels to help determine if your money will be well spent. Don’t be afraid to ask for any available discount. A hotel or amusement park may allow you to use coupon discounts even if you don’t have one in hand.

2. Look for combination ticket offers

If you are visiting a location with many sights to see, such as museums and art galleries, consider saving cash with a “pass” that buys you entrance into a number of sites. This option is usually an easy one to choose if you plan to visit nearly all of the attractions included, but even if you only plan on seeing a few, you might save enough to cover a tank of gas or indulge in an extra ice cream cone.

3. Travel light to avoid baggage fees

There are plenty of advantages to keeping it simple when it comes to packing. The biggest may be that you have less weight to lug around. The other benefit is that you can avoid baggage fees by packing all that you need in a carry-on bag, or at least reducing the number of bags you need to check.

4. Reduce food costs by eating out less

Food expenses can quickly drain your wallet when you are on the road. Just as making your own meals when you are home tends to be more cost-efficient, the same can be true when you travel. Try to eat at least one meal a day “in house” by buying a few items from the store and making your own breakfast or lunch. Many hotel rooms include refrigerators, so even refreshments like soda and beer can be purchased and enjoyed in your room before going out. If traveling with children, try to take advantage of restaurant deals where kids eat free.

5. Be spontaneous

If you aren’t picky about where you travel or specifically when, you can often find attractive offers on last-minute deals online. These typically are package deals to specific cities or attractions that include airfare, hotel and other amenities like a rental car or some meals. Compare offers and determine which provides the best value.

Traveling comes with expenses, but vacations memories are priceless. If you need suggestions or help planning your trip, consider working with a travel agent who can provide information and tips for saving money on specific locales. Also consider working with a financial advisor who can help you budget and work toward both your short- and long-term financial goals including traveling, buying a home and retiring.

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This communication is published in the United States for residents of New York only; and this advisor is licensed only in the states of PA, CT, MD, GA, NJ, NC, FL, MA, ME.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Richael Montay June 21, 2012 at 07:00 PM
Hey Steve, We went on a cruise last summer with some friends. We wanted to go on a chartered fishing trip in Costa Maya and after checking prices, evaluating options, and being spontaneous, the trip was a grift of a con-man. We arrived to find out that the boat that was advertized did not exist and the fishing trip captain was not there. Should we have used the cruise sanctioned fishing charter that was extremely expensive and not well-recommended instead of taking a chance with a local charter who might be cheaper but unreilable? Thanks Rich A.
Karven Alcrew June 21, 2012 at 07:49 PM
Hi Steve, I also booked an excursion but not through the my ship. When my group arrived at the location a strange man appeared who claimed he worked for the company and tried to sell us another exursion. We turned him down and wound up returning to the ship empty handed. What do you think we should have done? Thanks Karven Alcrew
Bravo June 22, 2012 at 10:38 AM
Might as well title 90 percent of these blogs the same thing - TELL ME SOMETHING I DON'T KNOW
H. Lecter June 22, 2012 at 03:00 PM
Steve, In reading Rich and Karven's comments I recall my own nightmarish experience with a ship excursion gone a foul. As I remember it, one of the "dudes" in our party had insisted that we each save some money and book the fishing trip right from the locals. Sounded good the picture that was provided looked quite nice. Turns out we had a row boat waiting for us when we got to Mexico. The boat we were to get was there, but It is was out of order. Probably didn't even have an engine. I would recommend going through the cruiseline unless you are getting some substantial savings. Spend the extra $30.00 and do it the right way. Or at the very least make sure the "locals" have an authentic sounding name - like Miguel, or Juan, or Inigo Montoyo....not Klaus, or Didier, or Otto. Jeeeze
Scuba-doos and Scuba-donts June 22, 2012 at 04:22 PM
Hi Karven, You made the right choice from a financial standpoint; you protected yourself from investing in a questionable purchase. If something like that should happen to you on another cruise vacation, notify uniformed crew personnel that you have been solicited. If you want to be safe, stay within the parameters of what the cruise line has to offer, because they are a reputable entity. You can always check on-line for reviews or comments regarding any excursion. Also, you may want to consider an all-inclusive vacation to save money and ensure the validity of special offers. H. Lector, You made a very good point about going through the cruise line and spending that extra $30.00. Vacations are about making memories that will last a lifetime, so you always want to make sure your experience is a positive one. Another way to protect yourself is by not putting any money into any off resort/ boat trip or excursion until you are at the location and can asses the situation. Always have a backup plan!

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