It’s hard to believe, but it’s summer already. It just seems like we were celebrating the Holidays yesterday and now hot weather is upon us. If your winter was like mine that means you’re eager to set out on a summer vacation to enjoy some fun in the sun. Unfortunately summer vacations aren’t exactly cheap and can easily cost a small fortune. While going on summer vacation will cost a good bit of money, there are ways you can save money and still have a blast on your trip.
Avoid the Hotel
When was the last time you stayed in a hotel? You likely choked when you saw the final bill and added that to the other expenses of the trip. Staying in a hotel for your summer vacation may be nice as you can have someone else pick up your mess, but most often they don’t have common areas and pretty much mean you’re eating out for all of your meals.
Instead of staying at a hotel, you could consider renting a townhouse or finding a rental through a site like VRBO. Through renting you can feel more at home and also have more room, which is especially helpful if you’re traveling with a large family. It also means you can save on food costs by eating some of the meals at the rental and only eating out once a day.
Drive Instead of Fly
If you’re going to a faraway destination it might make sense to fly, however if you’re buying multiple tickets that can quickly add up. If you need a rental car at the destination then that will add to the cost as well. Instead of just assuming it’s cheaper to fly, do the math to see if it will save you money to drive to your summer vacation destination. While you will have some wear and tear on your car, the cost of driving versus flying can often be considerably cheaper. This is especially the case if you’re traveling at peak season for the destination in question. It might not be as “fun” to drive as it is to fly, but I’d much rather save a good bit of money instead of spend it.
Don’t Go in the Summer
I thought this post was about saving money on summer vacation? It is, but sometimes it might just make sense not to take your trip in the summer. What my family does some years is wait until the summer travel season is over, which is usually right after Labor Day. We will travel right after Labor Day and can save a good bit of money as it’s no longer peak time for many locations.
Many destinations will begin to lower their prices as they know they won’t have as many visitors and want to entice people to come visit. This has a double bonus in that you’ll generally have less crowds to deal with, which is especially nice if you’re going to big tourist destinations or theme parks.
What tips do you have to save money on summer vacation? Do you prefer to stay in a hotel or rent while on vacation?
Image by Kevin Dooley / Flickr