5 Simple Ideas For Traveling Cheap This Summer

It’s always nice to get away, especially once summer arrives and the winter months are far behind us. But, traveling can get expensive, and the last thing you want to do is let money worries get between you and your much-needed and well-deserved vacation. Here are 5 ideas for traveling cheap this summer.

Drive, don’t fly.

One of the most costly parts of traveling during any season is airfare. Skip the plane ride and find a getaway that’s within driving distance. This is especially doable if you live in New England. Beach or lake? The good news is you have both options. And, there are so many relaxing beaches and scenic lakes that are within driving distance.

If you do fly…

Look for flights on a Tuesday. This is generally when flights are least expensive. To save even more money, be flexible in your travel dates and fly out on a weekday, like a Tuesday or a Wednesday.

Get a place with a kitchen, or at least some type of food preparation area.

Another expensive part of vacations is the cost of food. Don’t get me wrong, going to different restaurants is one of the best parts of being on vacation. You get a break from your normal dinner rotation and the same old lunches, and get a chance to try some delicious new cuisine. If you’re typically a healthy eater, vacations are the perfect excuse to splurge a little. But, eating out can add up quickly and can easily become one of your biggest vacation expenses. If you rent a house or get a hotel room with a kitchen, you can make breakfast and lunch at your “home away from home” and splurge on a nice dinner at night. You don’t have to go gourmet. I’m talking sandwiches, cereal, English muffins, your own coffee, cheese and crackers, chips and salsa, etc. You can also pack some snacks like prepackaged nuts, granola bars, bananas and apples.

With that being said…

Decide your travel priorities.

If your biggest priority when you go away is to try as many different restaurants and food options as possible, then having a kitchen may not matter to you. But, you may just want to relax and enjoy time with your loved ones, or make your vacation all about adventure. Consider what you want most out of your time away so that you can allocate your vacation funds to the right areas. This will help you put money toward what you really want instead of paying for a bunch of different things that don’t really mean much to you.

Take it from me. My husband and I went on a cruise one summer and we thought we were being smart by getting the prepaid drink package, however, neither of us drank enough to really get any benefit out of it and it ended up costing us more. We did end up splurging on a balcony room and that was definitely worth it. With these two extra expenses, we ended up paying more than we really should have. The key is to spend money on things that you know are meaningful to you.

Travel with friends and/or family.

Another lesson learned from our cruise is that it would’ve been so much fun if we had friends on board with us. Not that we didn’t have fun together, we definitely made some awesome memories, but it would’ve been so cool to share the experience with our loved ones back home. I think this has a lot to do with the cruise atmosphere itself. No matter where you go, traveling with other people can definitely cut costs. This is especially true if you are renting a house or campsite you are all sharing.

Do your research!

Before you book anything, do some serious research on places you may want to travel to, where you will stay, activities you will do, etc. It’s a real shame if you settle on something quickly when there was a way better deal out there somewhere for you.

Comparison shop on travel websites, like Expedia, TripAdvisor and Member Perks*. Unlike other travel websites, members of Member Perks will get the lowest price guaranteed, plus up to 5% cash back on flights, hotel stays, car rentals and vacation packages. You also have options for condo rentals, so you can easily take advantage of the tips above.

What cheap vacation tips do you have that you’d like to share? Comment below and let us know!

*Member Perks is available for members of Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union only.

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