If you have some vacation days to use up this summer, take some time to start planning now and save money on that upcoming vacation package. Even though summer is a few months away, you can scoop up some great bargains at off-peak destinations and take advantage of low rates just for booking early.
Starting the research process now can also make it easier to set up a realistic traveling budget. Here are ten things you can do to save on that upcoming summer vacation:
Take advantage of advanced purchase rates and other discounts for booking your vacation several weeks and months in advance. many major hotels and resorts offer non-refundable advanced purchase rates to fill up their rooms as early in the season as possible — you could end up saving up to 25 percent or more by taking advantage of these lower rates.
You could also end up saving money on airfare just by planning ahead.
Do some research to find out which destinations will be in their off-peak season during the summer months. many tropical and beach destinations are much more affordable during the summer and you can find some great deals and discounts on everything from hotel rates and airfare, to rental cars and resort packages.
Hawaii, the Caribbean and even Las Vegas are a few destinations to consider for your budget-friendly summer retreat.
Memorial Day, Fourth of July and other holiday weekends over the summer season are among the worst times to travel when you’re trying to save money. Consider traveling mid-week, immediately after or right before the holiday weekend when demand is a little softer and rates are much lower.
Can you hold off on that summer vacation until the end of the season? some of the best deals at peak destinations can be found during the last two weeks of August, say Travelzoo’s experts.
If you live in a resort city like Las Vegas, Orlando or Palm Springs, consider booking a trip that is within driving distance so you can take advantage of low rates and save on transportation costs. Subscribe to daily deal sites targeted for your local area to keep tabs on any hotel and resort packages that fit your budget.
You won’t really know if a deal is a deal until you have an idea of the average price or rates for a particular package or destination. Tap into online resources like the Travelzoo top 20®, which is a weekly list of the top travel, entertainment and local deals.
Sign up for e-mail newsletters and alerts about time-sensitive deals so you can book your vacation at the most competitive rate available. Flash deal sites are another option for securing some unbeatable deals. Just make sure to read the fine print so you can use your voucher or deal towards your desired travel dates.
Airlines tend to release their lower-cost fares on Tuesdays, so avoid making that purchase on a weekend or on any other day of the week. Flying in and out during the middle of the week could also help you save some money on that summer vacation.
Travelzoo’s Senior Editor Gabe Saglie and top 20 Publisher Jamie Samuels recommend flying on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday to get the lowest fares. Find a way to take a Monday or a Tuesday off from work so you can use those days for flying.
Cruises and resorts are your best bets for all-inclusive deals and some can give you the best value for your money. All-inclusive packages mean you don’t have to worry about meals, activities and other travel-related expenses — everything is rolled into a set price.
All-inclusive spa getaways can also be a welcome retreat during the summer months. Set your sights on destinations like Hawaii for a cruise and you could end up saving a fair amount of money on your summer travel package.
Earn miles and other perks when booking your vacation by using a travel credit card instead of a regular credit card or a debit card. since summer is a few months away, you can work on paying off that debt right away so you won’t incur heavy interest charges.
If you’re planning an extended-stay trip, don’t overlook the benefits of a vacation rental property. Vacation rentals can be great for families and group travelers, providing you with all of the basic amenities you need for your stay. Start searching for available properties that you can rent out on a week-to-week basis. Just make sure you’ve researched the exact location of the property so you’ll be within easy reach of the key attractions, restaurants and grocery stores in the area.
Unless you have your heart set on a specific destination or hotel, take some time to compare different destinations, amenities and perks at three or four different locales to find the most affordable spot. This will give you a chance to enjoy a vacation without stressing about money.