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Save Travel Hacks 101: The Ultimate Guide to Planning Your Summer Vacation

Travel Hacks 101: The Ultimate Guide to Planning Your Summer Vacation

Are you planning a vacation or getting ready to plan a trip? Go on a summer vacation with your family without spending a fortune thanks to these travel hacks.

Travel Hacks 101: The Ultimate Guide to Planning Your Summer Vacation

Believe it or not, summer vacation is right around the corner... and if you don't think a getaway is in your budget, think again! There are tons of travel hacks out there that can help you save on your next vacation, whether you're planning for a weekend trip or jet-setting somewhere far away.

Book your hotels direct. 

You might think you found a great hotel deal on a discount travel site, but chances are, booking directly with the hotel will get you the same rate... and maybe even a better one. Ask the hotel whether they have a loyalty program. There might be even more savings on the horizon, not to mention free services and other benefits!

And choose one that includes breakfast!

Many hotels offer complimentary breakfast, and if you're traveling with your whole family, it can be a major money-saver. Whether it's a continental breakfast of just fruit and yogurt or a full hot breakfast, take advantage of this perk so you can enjoy the meals you *do* eat out. 

Consider staying at a hostel.

You might think that hostels are just for twenty-something-year-olds backpacking across Europe... but they can actually be great options for your whole family. Most hostels offer private rooms for a fraction of the cost of a hotel room - and while you might have to share a bathroom and kitchenette with other guests, it's a great way to meet people and give your kiddos an authentic (and nontraditional!) travel experience. Speaking of nontraditional, check prices for Airbnbs, VRBO listings, timeshares, and other less conventional types of lodging.

Don't underestimate the power of happy hour.

These days, happy hours are for more than just cheap drinks. Many places have happy hour food menus, so you can score popular menu items for a fraction of their regular price. If you're traveling with kids, scope out restaurants that serve their happy hour menu beyond just the bar so everyone can get something cheap to eat!

Purchase add-ons in advance.

A little bit of advance planning can go a long way when it comes to saving money on your vacation. Oftentimes, pre-paying for an extra piece of luggage, travel insurance, or amusement park tickets can save you money in the long run. 

For example, when using budget airlines, paying for luggage in advance (ie. upon booking) can save you a lot of money. In terms of travel insurance, you will most likely have the option of purchasing travel insurance upon booking, BUT, if you do a little digging beforehand, you might find an external service provider that offers better insurance at a better price.

Travel mid-week, if you can.

Depending on your kiddo's summer schedule, see if you can swing a mid-week flight - Tuesdays and Wednesdays are well-known as the cheapest days to fly. And check the prices for both round-trip and one-way flights. Sometimes, it's cheaper to buy two one-way flights on different airlines!

Look for free activities. 

If you're visiting a city with museums, botanical gardens, aquariums, or other cultural attractions, check their websites for discounted hours or free admission days. You might find that they offer free admission after 5 pm on a weeknight, or that kids under 12 get in for free one morning a month. Plan your vacation itinerary accordingly to maximize your savings! You can also check out a local events calendar to get a feel for what's happening while you're in town - maybe there's a festival or parade coming up that would be great for the whole family. 

Traveling internationally? Stick to WiFi. 

Fortunately, WiFi is just about everywhere these days. Hotels, restaurants, airports, and even trains have WiFi... so if you're traveling abroad, turn cellular data off on your phone and stick to WiFi. 

Exchange currency before you head to the airport. 

Speaking of international travel, another pro tip is to exchange currency before you land at your destination. Your best bet is to see if your local bank can help you out - otherwise, check with a travel agency. You'll get a much better exchange rate, and be good to go when you step off the plane. 

Save money while you make memories

We'd love to know how you live it up on a budget this summer. Please share this post, tag us, and tell us how you got it right!