When the temperatures go down and winter sets in, many people think of two words: summer vacation. While summer may be far away, you should start figuring out how you can pay for the vacation you desperately need.
Whether you want to spend a week at a penthouse in the heart of the city or tuck yourself at an island hideaway, your summer vacation expenses can quickly add up.
Here are three tips you can follow to save money and end up enjoying low cost holidays.
Do some research to find ways that you can increase the money you are saving for vacation. From tourist hot spots to holiday weekends, you need to know what to avoid and when. Be flexible with your holiday. If it is not a must to go to a particular destination, look for alternatives that are more affordable.
Sometimes, leaving a day after or before your original itinerary can result in some savings. You can also benefit from big price differences by traveling on different days of the week. These savings can range from less-expensive hotel rates to lower air fares. Search at different travel websites to determine which destinations and days will fit into your price range.
However, it is not worth it spending endless hours of research just to save a few dollars. If you do too much research and in the process waste a lot of time, you can lose on some good rates. With more people getting back to traveling, discounts and deals are snagged up fast. If you want to save, act fast.
Use Your Cards’ Rewards
If you have enrolled in the right rewards program, your current spending can help you save money on the summer vacation.
If you have not enrolled in any card rewards’ programs and would like to pile enough points to pay for your vacation, you will need to spend a lot. However, this should not deter you from signing up for rewards programs. Smaller rewards such as points for free gasoline or cash back can be attained depending on your spending level.
As you consider how to add more points to take advantage of during you summer vacation, understand the terms of the various card rewards points you have enrolled for. Sometimes, it makes sense to consolidate your usage on one card to build up your rewards. This is especially the case if a program has a tiered rewards structure that offers more points for higher spending.
However, no matter how tempting the offers from a reward program may be, ignore them if you have even a tiny amount of credit card debt.
Take Advantage of Discounts
There are a number of additional saving opportunities you can take advantage of for your summer vacation. These opportunities range from gas stations, to hotels, to airlines and may be offered through various customer loyalty programs.
For example, you can enroll in Marriot’s reward program for free. For each dollar you spend at a Marriot hotel, you earn two air miles or 10 hotel points. You can redeem the points on flights from more than 30 airlines or choose free hostel stays. There are also many other hotel chains that offer free loyalty programs.
For additional discounts, you can join annual fee-based programs.
For example, AAA offers exclusive savings to its members at over 160,000 locations worldwide. The savings include hotel discounts ranging from 5 to 30 percent. The cost of the AAA membership varies depending on the type of membership and eligible benefits.
AAA members are also eligible or travel and hotel discounts. Most hotels offer a discount for an extra night booking or free breakfast in a bid to attract visitors.