3 Tips for Vacation Travel on a Budget

Be creative and save on vacation travel.In spring a young man’s fancy turns to love, and for the rest of us, we start thinking about our vacation plans. Of course, with today’s economy we’re specifically thinking about ways to save money on vacation.

With these 3 tips for vacation travel on a budget you can plan for summer vacation time with your family and not worry about smashing your budget.

1. Reduce travel costs.

Quite simply, driving instead of flying is a great way to save on vacation costs. Last time I checked, your car doesn’t charge extra for luggage.

But, if you really want to think out of the box as you work on your plan for summer vacation, consider ride sharing. Ridester and eRideShare are two websites that put riders together with drivers. If your vacation plans include a major city, often you don’t need your wheels after your arrive. This strategy can work.

Much of the Midwest and East is served by Megabus. If you’re really into frugal vacations and can plan well in advance, this is the way to go.

And, if you need suggestions where to go within a “tank of gas” distance from your home, check out this cool tool at TripAdvisor.

2. Explore alternative lodging.

“Youth” Hostels are for the young and the young at heart today. Many major cities have them as well as a lot of smaller towns and even rural areas. This worldwide hostel mobile app is a great way to find hostels and learn more about each facility as you’re drawing up your plan for summer vacation.

Home exchange programs and lodging in private residences is experiencing a surge in popularity due to the Internet and they’re one of the best ways to save money on vacation. You can do a Google search to find groups that facilitate home exchanges. Also, check out Airbnb, which recently boasted offering private lodging in 19,732 cities throughout 192 countries.

Hotel Tonight is an excellent app that connects you with deeply discounted hotel rooms in about 30 major U.S. cities. If you live near one of the cities it covers, you can enjoy a quick, inexpensive, last-minute getaway—perhaps the most frugal vacation of them all.

3. Coupon clip.

Look for deals ahead of time, especially using web-based services like Living Social, Groupon, Sweet Jack and Goldstar. They often feature “adventures” and lodging deals in major cities. The savings can be huge. You might find an activity you couldn’t otherwise afford and build your vacation plans around it.

With a little flexibility and creativity, your summer vacation plan can please everyone in the family, even the person who’s responsible for keeping to a budget.

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