You work hard all year and deserve to take a break every once in awhile. If you are trying to fit in that much needed vacation in the last weeks of summer, chances are your efforts to travel on a budget will be more difficult to accomplish last minute. The early bird deals and time required for research are long gone, but there are many steps you can take to travel cheaply, as long as you are game for a little adventure. Whether you are traveling with your family or getting away on your own, your late summer travels donâ€™t need to break the bank.
13 tips to keep your summer travels cost effective:
- Timing is everything â€“ According to farecompare.com, Wednesday is the cheapest day to travel domestically. To get the lowest airfare rates, book on Tuesday at 3 p.m. Eastern Time.
- Shop cheap brands â€“ Hotel chains such as La Quinta or Quality Inn may be inexpensive but they are dependably consistent.
- Picture it â€“ When searching for bargain hotels, be weary of online reviews. Look for photos because they are more reliable than anonymous reviewers.
- Wait it out â€“ Lastminute.com offers â€œlast second dealsâ€ for travel over the upcoming week and Licketytrip.com specializes in last minute vacation rentals.
- Be adventurous â€“ Consider a visit to couchsurfing.com, hospitalityclub.org, or usservas.org, online sites where you can find people who host visitors in their homes for free.
- Remember bigger isnâ€™t better â€“ Reserve a compact car because they have better fuel efficiency and arenâ€™t popular. Rental companies fill their lots with bigger cars; if they run out of compacts, you might get a free upgrade.
- Take a walk â€“ Search online for â€œGlobal Greeter Networkâ€ or â€œSANDEMANs New Europeâ€ for free walking tours from locals.
- Discover where your tank of gas will take you â€“ Utilize Tripadvisorâ€™s â€œtank of gas â€œ tool. You type in your hometown and indicate how much gas you want to use. The tool lists destinations within reach.
- Just cruise â€“ Cruises, especially shorter and less-expensive sailings, will be bargains by midsummer and fall.
- Travel with friends â€“ Put together at least 10 travelers and you may save on carriers that include Southwest, United and American. Also ask tour operators and cruise directors about group deals.
- Enjoy a park perk â€“ The $10 America the Beautiful Senior Pass provides lifetime entry to 2,000 national parks and recreation sites.
- Feed the little mouths for free â€“ Kids eat free or at a discount at dozens of chain restaurants. Check for details at familyfriendlyamerica.com and coupondivas.com.
- Make the switch â€“ If you live in a popular location and youâ€™re willing to let a stranger into your home, join a home-exchange site.
With these simple strategies we are sure you will get the most bang for your buck. So enjoy your guilt-free vacation, and happy trails from everyone here at SelectQuote.