How to Save on Summer Vacation Travel
Whether you want to frolic in ocean waves, take slow walks along country paths, or party in
"More people are traveling, so you have to get in early. A lot of key destinations are starting to sell out," says
Travelers can also save money by scheduling their vacations during slower periods.
"If you want to travel during peak times, you are really going to pay," says
Deals may be harder to find this year, but they still exist for those willing to do some work:
Many hotels are hurting because of the dip in business travel, and as a result are offering great deals on weekends. According to the
With some advance planning, travelers should be able to secure deals that are as good or better than the ones they found last year, but MacDonell cautions against being too stingy. "When it's vacation, we don't want to save too much money and run into a bad situation or risk," he warns. Here are more tips to help you balance the pursuit of a relaxing vacation against the limits of your bank account:
Take the car.
While gas prices have been inching up this spring and will probably continue to do so this summer, experts don't expect prices to approach the record highs of 2008. That means you can save money by taking the car instead of flying to your destination, as long as it's no more than an eight-hour drive or so. MacDonell suggests crunching numbers to see if flying or driving is the cheaper choice. According to
Take the train.
The train is another viable option, especially for those in the Northeast, adds MacDonell, whose wife took his daughter's
Travel on the weekends.
It might sound counterintuitive to travel on the weekends alongside other leisure travelers, but if you're heading to a destination that's popular among business travelers, it can actually be the best way to get a good deal, says MacDonell. That's because companies have dramatically cut back on business travel, so these hotels are eager to make up for the losses by attracting families on the weekends. It's always a good idea to ask for a discount or coupon to the hotel's restaurant when making a reservation.
While the dollar has been strengthening against the Euro -- which means
Take a boat.
Cruise prices have rebounded a bit over the past year, but they can still be a great deal, considering that the price includes food and, in some cases, entertainment. According to MacDonell, those looking for bargains should look to the
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(c) 2010 U.S. News & World Report
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