Summer Travel Savings

Posted on 08. Mar, 2006 by in Saving & Investing

summervacationsavings.jpgI don’t know about you – but I’m ready for summer! Living in the snow for the past few months has really been a downer this year and I can’t wait until I can put my shorts on again. And to help coax summer to come a little sooner I have begun plans for a little spring/summer vacation to Vegas. Just a chance to get away and relax, eat a lot of food, and watch Cirque du Soleil.

I didn’t want to horde the good feelings that come from planning a summer vacation so I thought I would share a set of tips for planning your own vacation — and saving money doing it!

  1. Don’t be in such a hurry.
    The idea here is that hotel-hopping and trying to see as many sites or cities as possible not only wears on the pocketbook but also robs you of becoming familiar with a certain place. For example, if you’re going to Europe, try to stick to one area – even one country – so that you can immerse yourself in the culture. Also, if you’re staying long in one place you can begin to save money by purchasing food at a grocery store instead of McDonalds. The same principle holds true for domestic traveling – instead of traveling all up and down the East Coast, pick an apartment-style hotel in Washington, D.C. (apartment-style hotels are usually cheaper per week) and then base your travels from there. You could spend an entire week in D.C. and still not see everything, but if you really wanted to get away there are many historic destinations that are only 2-3 hours away that you could travel to and then come back to your hotel.
  2. Keep a close eye on exchange rates.
    At the moment, the dollar is relatively strong against the euro, the Japanese yen, and the Australian dollar. On the flip side, the U.S. dollar has lost ground against the currencies of Canada, South Africa, and Brazil, good news for visitors from those countries who want to check out America.

    Trying manage exchange rates is tricky because if you plan a vacation around favorable rates, the advantage might dissolve before you actually take your trip. Book rooms or tours in advance, and the rates might slant further in your direction as the dates near. Still, if you time it right, you might be able to save some coin. In extreme cases, an especially favorable exchange rate attracts travelers with promises of high living.

  3. Seek alternative accommodations.
    Staying away from the 4-star downtown hotels offers several advantages, the least of which is money. Staying in a B&B or even at a campsite can bring you closer to the locals and can be a great way to meet some new friends. In London, where hotel prices are rediculous, there are even services (London Bed & Breakfast Agency) that will connect people with locals who are willing to rent out a room for the night. If you’re young, you also might be able to take advantage of Youth Hostels.
  4. Spread your money around.
    I’ll be the first to tell you that penny-pinching while on vacation can lead to a very miserable experience. Vacations are times of splurging, which is why you save up for so long on them, right? Well, you also don’t want to waste away your entire vacation savings on a nice hotel. Instead, stay a few nights in a fancy hotel, and then downgrade while you go shopping or catch a great show in town. This is what I’m doing for our vacation in Vegas. I could have easily spent $300+ a night on hotels but instead downgraded to about $100 for a fairly nice place (after a bit of deal searching) so that we could also see Cirque du Soleil and eat at a few very nice restaraunts.
  5. Take a tour.
    This one might take a bit of effort on your part – especially if you’re of the mindset that tours are insulting to the locals or just plain “touristy.” However, tours can be a great way to see a lot of interesting sites at a discount – and most of the time tours are given by locals who are more than willing to share stories and other tidbits about the area – including other deals you may not have known about. And if riding in a bus isn’t your cup of tea you can find many other “adventure” tours that take place on bicycles, 4 wheelers, horses, or trains.

Sources: FreeTravelTips.com, MSN Money, Frommers

2 Responses to “Summer Travel Savings”

  1. Bigfoot

    13. Mar, 2006

    Great post. Most of the cost people incur results from being impatient and not taking the time to do a bit a research. I also like your comments on taking a tour. People often dismiss things that are “touristy” like you say. But that’s often where you get the best information. I was a guide in Alaska when I was in college. We gave out a lot of common tourist focused information, but we also gave out some golden nuggets to people who asked questions and really wanted see the true culture of the area. Great comments!

  2. Elizabeth

    01. Jul, 2006

    hi, Jason

    Great Articles. you have great ability to write such articles related to travel and tourism.

    Elizabeth: News channel
    Voice of USA New York City Hotels Department

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