Whatever the reason or the season, planning your next vacation could be weighing on your mind. According to an article in LearnVe$t, an organization committed to providing resources to help consumers with money management, the average US traveler spent $1,246 per person in 2014 on summer vacation. This can be a real budget buster when you start adding up the expenses for spouses, children, and other family members. So, we’ve compiled some travel savings suggestions to help ease your mind – and your budget:
- Hotel Deals: In the age of social media, it should come as no surprise that you can make your reservations via social media for many hotels. Check out the Facebook pages of hotels for promotional offers – as some have up to 50% off for making posts or liking their page.
- Not-Your-Typical-Hotel Deals: Let’s face it, hotels can be quite pricey and leave you with limited options on making meals and storing fresh foods. A study from Hipmunk, a travel search firm, revealed that folks could save up to 63% by utilizing non-traditional accommodations instead of hotels across popular cities in the US. One popular site to book this type of stay is Airbnb.
- Know When to Book: Planning ahead is always is key for travel savings, but there are some special tricks you may not have thought of. According to LearnVe$t, the cheapest time to book flights is 54 days in advance and you can also get the best prices on Tuesdays at 3 pm.
- Expand Your Search: When you thinking of traveling, you might immediately visit some of the most popular travel sites. In a recent study, Frommer’s found that some lesser known search sites, like Skyscanner and Momondo, consistently offered the cheapest travel rates.
- Road Trips: When you’re ready to hit the highway, use technology to your advantage. Apps like GasBuddy can show you the cheapest gas station nearby to help increase your fuel savings during your trip.
- Ride the Waves: Cruises are a great way to get rest and relaxation, but they can also come with unexpected additional costs. According to LearnVe$t, the average cruiser will spend an additional $429 in extras during their trip. You can save more by using on-board extras (spa visits, etc.) during the port days when savings for services can be upwards of 30 percent. Booking your cruise 45-90 days in before embarkation can save you more than 25 percent.
Daydreaming about your next getaway? Start saving now for your vacation. Decide when you want to go and how much you want to spend. Use a tool like Summit's Climbr® to set and monitor your savings goal. Then, divide the total cost by the number of months between now and then to find out how much you need to set aside each month. You can create a sub-savings account to keep your vacation funds separate from your regular savings. Transfer funds to your vacation account monthly, so you can pay for your trip before you leave – and focus on the fun you’ll have.