Summer is here, and it could be time to hit the road on a new adventure. If you’re on a tight budget, you don’t have to give up your summer vacation dreams. Here are a few tips you may be able to use to create the perfect vacation on a limited budget.
1. Travel During the Offseason
Some destinations experience unpredictable weather during the summer. Referred to as the “low season,” this is most common in tropical destinations. Determine what you want to do on your vacation. If the weather is not a concern, you may save a lot of money when traveling to these areas during the offseason or hot summer months.2
2. Sign up for Email Alerts
If you don’t have a specific destination in mind and are flexible on your travel dates, you may save a lot of money by taking advantage of last-minute deals. Sign up for email alerts from major travel websites. The process is simple. You start a search for a flight or hotel and set a price alert notification for that search. Then, set the notification threshold to the discount percentage you want. Email alerts are a great way to learn about discount deals from hotels and airlines.1
3. Join Reward Programs
Always join a reward or loyalty program when available. You may even want to check with your credit card company to see if they have rewards. Many travel reward programs offer savings, such as discounted airfare, free or low-rate hotel rooms, and free upgrades. There are also credit cards that have point programs specifically for travel.1
4. Book Your Flights at the Ideal Time
Mid-week travel rates might be less expensive than weekend rates on some airlines. Fares might be lowest on Tuesdays. They may stay low through Thursday and then steadily rise until Sunday. Sunday fares tend to be the highest. Rates are also lower for late-night flights and flights that leave early in the morning. If you aren’t in a rush to get to your destination, having a layover or two may lower your flight cost as well.1
5. Look for Freebies
Most travelers focus on the hotel and travel when booking trips. While these tend to be the most significant expenses, the other costs may add up to quite a bit. Look for freebies wherever you find them. Book hotels that offer complimentary breakfasts and free parking. Look for online travel guides that feature free and low-cost activities in the area you visit. Many places have free festivals or events during the summer, and you may enjoy local parks, museums, and gardens for a low cost.2
Enjoy a summer vacation without the high expenses by following these thrifty tips. From loyalty programs to free extras, there might be savings available for budget-conscious travelers.