8 Simple rules for saving on vacation

Follow these steps to vacation savings

Vacations can be a budget killer for the average family of four. You think you've accounted for everything, and yet by the end of the trip find you've spent more than we planned for, whether it is on food, parking, or luggage fees. Those little things can sure add up!

You know what I'm going to say next YAY! Savings enthusiast -- there are always time to minimize your trip expense. All it takes is patience, research and planning.
Great ways to save on your next family vacation

Avoid Peak Travel Times

It goes without saying, if you are planning to travel to family destinations during school break or summer vacation time periods, you are going to pay a premium. Hotels and theme parks offer fewer deals when school is out of session. However, there are ways to get better pricing without having to pull the kids out of school to take a vacation.

For example, if you are planning a trip to a theme park or popular family destination, consider sneaking in just ahead of the rush (before Memorial Day) or during the month of August. There are school districts around the country that start their school year mid August and if you're not one of them, can take advantage of this. Not only will you spend less on food, lodging, and transportation, you will also manage to avoid the super heavy summer crowds.

Try to use miles or points

Most of us have a credit card where you can apply your reward points towards airline miles or hotel nights. If you don't have one, sign up right after you're done reading this blog. There are plenty of options that do not have yearly fees. The best part, every time you make every day purchases you can think about what destination you're going to use your points for in the not too distant future!

Research, research, research

Whether you are searching for better prices on flights, car rentals, hotels, or even cruises, make sure you're using "smart" travel sites like CarryOn.com or Kayak.com. These websites can actually do extended searches over a period of time to find you the best price and send you an alert when a great price has been located. A YAY! Savings bonus tip. Websites like Hotels.com can offer better hotel rates the closer you get to your travel date. This is a secret the hotels don't want you to know.

Pay attention to Hotel Amenities & Fees

It is important to know exactly what is and is not included in your hotel stay when creating your vacation budget. Be sure to check whether your rate includes special features, food, parking, resort fees, internet fees, and taxes. This can reveal both positive and negatives that can either help you save on your trip or cost you way more money than you planned. For example, if you're hotel has an amazing pool, you can save money by spending more time there rather than local attractions. The same goes for meals that are included in your rate.

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