Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Save Money on This Summer's Vacation

Every loves to travel during the summer and many family vacations usually start during the Memorial Day holiday. Unfortunately, the economy has made it difficult for many families to take a summer vacation. We work 10-12 hour days. We rush to work, rush to get the kids, rush home, rush to eat dinner and then repeat the entire process all over again the next day. We never fully take the time to relax. It may seem there are never enough hours in the day to get everything done.

We all need to take time out to relax. Now is a great time to start looking for bargains on airfare, hotels and vacation spots. You work hard all year and deserve take at least a mini-vacation to a nearby beach or hotel. If you can afford to go on vacation without charging it on your credit card and only to still pay for 6 month later – then do it and pay for it with cash. Here are 8 tips to help save money when you are planning for your summer vacation.

1. Plan ahead. Plan in advance to save money. Buy toiletries and other necessities before traveling.
2. Talk to others. Talk to friends and neighbors to find out how they planned their vacation, i.e. ask about any discounts or sales, restaurants, shops, etc.
3. Act fast. When you see or hear about sales or discounts you have to move quickly to capitalize on the deal because they usually don't last long.
4. Shop around. Shop around to find the best deals. Visit websites like hotwire.com, priceline.com, kayak.com or hotels.com to find cheap rates for hotel, airfare and cruises. Purchase services together such as air and hotel or air, hotel and rental car to save money.
5. Safety. Buy traveler's checks which can quickly be replaced if lost. If your credit card is stolen you may not have another credit card available to purchase any necessities.
6. Buy traveler's insurance. Buy traveler's insurance. This will reduce the costs of medical bills that could accrue if you get sick on a cruise ship or flight and prevent you from going into debt.
7. Use restraint. Use restraint while on vacation. Don't buy everything you see . If you know you will be tempted don't even go into the store. Buy items or souvenir gifts at flea markets or only buy items that are on sale.
8. Snacks. Buy snacks and a few drinks and pack them in your suitcase before you leave. This will tide you over when you get hungry while on vacation until you are able to eat a full meal. This will also help you save you money that you would spend on midnight snacks.

If you want to take a vacation and cannot afford it, here are 5 simple things to do in the meantime:
1. Visit local caverns.
2. Camp out in your backyard.
3. Spend the day at a water park or amusement park.
4. Take a road trip and go camping a few hours or at a local camp park.
5. Go sightseeing in your local area.

The most important thing to do while on vacation is - have fun, but don't overextend yourself by splurging on unnecessary items. Create a small list of items you want to purchase and stick to it. The worst feeling is to return from vacation and get credit card statement in the mail for items charged while on vacation.


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