By Chris Dato • April 24, 2015
As we continue on the road to your perfect summer vacation at the perfect price, one of the most significant expenses you will immediately face is the cost of travel. With that in mind, here are some ways to make sure you are getting the best deal no matter how you choose to travel: hitting the open road, taking to the skies, or even setting sail!
If you have read any of my previous articles, than you know what a huge proponent I am for road trips. Especially with the recent drop in the cost of gas, spending a week or two of your summer vacation seeing the country from four wheels is a surprisingly fun and affordable option for vacationers on a particularly tight budget. Whether you are a carefree couple on a caprice, or you are taking the whole family Griswold style, keeping these tips in mind will help you avoid any hidden highway robbery.
The first thing to remember is that the work for your road trip begins long before anyone ever gets in the car. Start by mapping out the route of your trip. This will provide some necessary direction to your journey, and allow you to reserve your hotel accommodations ahead of time. Reserving your room online before getting on the road will be a big money saver. While deciding a route is important, don’t be afraid to stray a little here and there. Follow any signs or attractions that catch your interest, as these unplanned detours often prove to be the most memorable parts of your trip.
It is also important to make sure your vehicle is road ready. Making sure your tires are properly inflated will ensure that you are maximizing your miles per gallon, and minimize the risk of a blowout. Of course, you should still have your spare tire, along with all of the necessary tools and safely equipment to change a flat. This includes a few reflective traffic-warning triangles, and perhaps a tire pressure gauge.
Another road trip essential is a small first aid kit. You could throw one together yourself with some Band-Aids and antibiotic ointment, or just buy a pre assembled kit. Also, try to think of any other emergency items that might come in handy as well, such as a paper map and a flashlight.
Finally, renting a car for your trip can have a lot of advantages if you plan on traveling an especially great distance. First and foremost, you will not have to worry about the added miles to your baby. You will also have the opportunity to rent something a little nicer, or at the very least different, from what you usually drive, further following the spirit of vacation. Check out this article for tips to save when renting a car.
The recent dip in gas prices has been good for the price of air travel as well, which means that that summer vacation on the other side of the globe may be more affordable than you think. If you are planning to go overseas this summer, the key to saving on airfare is timing. According to CheapAir.com, 54 days prior to your flight is the prime time to get your tickets. Regardless of the day you plan on traveling, you are most likely to find the best deals by booking in the middle of the week. This is because airlines will typically put out their rate specials and deals on Sunday evening or Monday, then raise the rates as the weekend arrives.
Another great way to save when it comes to air travel is by finding a package deal. The Atlantis Resort in Paradise Island, Bahamas, is offering a great deal if you book soon. This package offers $250 airfare credit for each traveler, as well as admission into the Atlantis Waterpark, and a dolphin interaction! If the Bahamas isn’t on your bucket list this year, check out this Intercontinental Hotel Group promo from PromoCodes.com to find a destination that is on your list! The possibilities are endless.
Finally, one of the best tips to making sure you don’t get taken advantage of in a foreign country is to have at least a little knowledge of the local language. Whether you are trying to learn a language completely, or you just want effective language learning software to brush the dust off what you learned in high school, the way to go is Rosetta Stone.
If you are looking for the ultimate way to enjoy the journey, than your answer lies in, or rather on, the sea. Despite the luxurious accommodations and endless amount of entertainment, many people overlook the option of a cruise when considering their summer vacation. Because of the negative press the vacation cruise industry has received in the last couple of years, it is especially easy to find unbeatable deals on cruises to many exotic locations.
The key to scoring the best deal is to use a travel agent to book your cruise. Although they will have their own fee for their service, the relationship the agent has with the cruise lines will often translate into savings for you overall.
Chris Dato A Southern California kid born and raised, Chris is happiest with sunglasses on his face and sand under his back. Although a self-proclaimed master money saver, he prefers the term 'responsibly frugal' to 'cheap.'