Tips for Fun and Affordable Summer Travel from the Web’s Top Savings Experts
SANTA MONICA, CA–(Marketwire – June 28, 2010) – Summer vacations may feel like a must, but spending an entire spring, winter and fall’s wages in one season is a must-not. Use these tips from Savings.com, the premier destination for online coupons and coupon codes, to enjoy time away from home while spending like a local.
Getting There — Transportation Tips
Do high costs, long lines, fewer flights, stricter security and baggage fees sound familiar? Changes in travel regulations can make it difficult and expensive for consumers to reach their destinations.
Travel ticket prices go up this time of year. To avoid price hikes:
- Before booking, check the Web for the best deals and coupons to get ideas and inspiration for the next trip. Visit Savings.com for a complete list of travel coupons.
- Check travel aggregator sites like Kayak.com to compare prices from multiple airlines all in one place.
- Search Bing Travel, a site that predicts the best times to purchase flight tickets.
Spending can add up during check-in and in-flight. To save cash and time in the air:
- Traveling with a bag? Many airlines require payment for checked luggage, which makes some airlines more cost-effective than others. Jetblue and Southwest are good bets to cut down on baggage fees.
- Carrying on? Remember to check-in online to avoid lines at the airport.
- Consider upgrading flight tickets for priority check-in, boarding and seating. Southwest offers “early bird” check-in for priority boarding at the gate.
To avoid the hefty checked bag fees from many airlines, pack light. Follow the 3-1-1 rule, and be sure all carry-on bags meet size requirements. If it doesn’t, look for discount luggage to find a bag which does.
Fuel, detours and other highway-related fees can significantly increase road trip spending. To stay on budget while on the road:
- Purchase a “fast pass” to cut both tolls and wait time as many states charge tolls for roadway usage.
- Check out sites like AAA Trip Tix for the best route to save time and fuel costs. Trip Tix also provides information on places to stop along the way, road construction areas and detour routes.
- Avoid getting lost, increased fuel costs and unnecessary stops to the nearest fast food joint by investing in a portable navigator. Be sure to check for a discount GPS system before hitting the road.
Upon Arrival — Real-Time Vacation Savings
Amidst the excitement of vacation, travelers often forget their frugal ways once they check out of every day routines and into relaxation mode. As most tourist towns anticipate the influx of summer visitors, prices can sky rocket past ideal budgets. There are many ways to plan ahead and save money on food, activities and other miscellaneous expenses.
Food is often the biggest splurge. To keep food costs down:
- Avoid hotel restaurants. Research eateries outside the hotel to find both lower prices and better food. Use sites like Yelp for recommendations and pre-purchase restaurant gift certificates from Restaurant.com. Visit Savings.com to find Restaurant.com coupons.
- Avoid racking up a bill from the hotel mini bar by locating grocery stores to purchase quality wine and snacks.
Plan ahead to ensure there is never a dull moment. To save on fun and activities:
- Check out the region’s hot spots within driving distance and escape more expensive resort-centric activities. Check out car rental coupons for Budget, or open a Zip Car account for daytime excursions to lower car rental rates.
- Get the scoop on local events and performances by searching local music/entertainment blogs. Once the plan is set, search on SeatGeek, a site that predicts ticket prices and recommends optimal purchase times for concerts and sports events.
- Browse through travel guides in a bookstore for off-the-beaten-path ideas that will likely be much cheaper than those recommended by your hotel, and remember that costs for outdoor activities such as hiking are often minimal.
Still Planning — Last Minute Travel
Even though most airlines and hotels will continue to increase prices throughout summer, there are plenty of deals out there and many ways to save on flights and hotel reservations.
When booking last minute, the trick is to be flexible and creative with vacation plans. For some great ideas to save:
- Look into traveling with friends and rent one big house instead of a block of hotel rooms. Additionally, find people who rent their houses for vacation on VRBO.
- Visit sites like Jettsetter and TravelZoo that offer great travel deals on a daily or weekly basis.
- Check for last minute travel package discounts. Airlines and hotels would rather sell their seats and rooms for less than not at all. Capitalize on the trend by grabbing a last minute vacation deal.
To save big all-around this summer, always research the Web to find promotions and discounts on flights, hotels, activities and all necessary equipment for travel. With top deals from more than 800 well-known, popular brands and more than 5,000 individual merchants, Savings.com is the go-to resource for every savvy traveler looking to stretch their vacation budget. For more travel savings tips, check out the Savings.com personal finance blog.
Savings.com helps consumers save money every day. The premier online savings Web site and community has the best deals for everything shoppers want, making it easier than ever to search, find and share big savings from top brands and stores. The company’s dedicated team of DealPros scours the Web to find top offers in every category from designer clothes and baby gear to big-screen TVs and gourmet food. The site’s community of members and savers rate each deal to make sure users find the best stuff first, eliminating the need to spend time sifting through expired coupons and coupon codes that don’t work. Savings.com is a safe haven of high-quality, reliable deals.