Don’t Break the Bank This Summer
It comes around every year—summer vacation. The part of the year that has every parent scrambling to adjust to a new way of life for a couple of months. The children are eating you out of house and home, but you still need to put some money aside to invest. So what do you do? Read on for some money-saving tips to help you enjoy your summer and potentially make some money along the way.
Fly Away With Me
Use the internet to your advantage and do some research before booking a vacation this summer. Google Flights is a great tool to compare different flight options. Often you’ll find certain days of the week (typically Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday) and times of the day (red eye flights tend to be heavily discounted) are cheaper to fly. For booking the actual flight, in general, most flights are slightly cheaper to book around midnight early in the week. Try to book flights during those times to save a few dollars. If your dates are flexible, it’s easy to book some last minute flights for a fraction of the cost.
Once you’ve booked, take some time to compare what the cost would have been if you had paid the regular price. It’s a great idea to take the difference between the two and invest a portion of your savings. You get your vacation and you get to invest—it’s a win-win!
Home Away From Home
Another great way to save money on vacation is to use services such as Travelocity and Priceline to compare prices for hotels. Many times, these sites offer promotional discounts which will take a percentage off of your total cost. Other times, it’s cheaper to book directly through the hotel chain website. It’s best to research and compare before booking to make sure you get the best deal.
Airbnb has risen in popularity over the last few years. This can be a great option for saving on a place to stay, particularly if you are traveling with a large group of family or friends. Traveling to a summer wedding? It might be better to book with an Airbnb rather than one of the rooms blocked off at the hotel. Airbnb options give you all the comforts and conveniences of home, typically with a lower cost than a traditional hotel.
Going on vacation usually means you’ll be doing a lot of eating out. That means you need to look for savings there, too. If you’re traveling with small children, many restaurants offer discounted kids meals. If you’re lucky, you’ll find a restaurant or two offering free kids meals. Places like Denny’s, Steak ‘n Shake, and Bob Evans all offer free kids meals on certain days of the week. Make sure to check before heading out; promotions vary by location.
Coupons Are Your Friend
Use coupons! There tends to be shame around using a coupon, but that’s exactly what they’re there for! If you can save a few bucks, it’s definitely worth it to take advantage. When booking flights or hotels online, be sure to do a quick search for available coupon codes. Many codes can save you as much as 20% off of your total purchase. For restaurants, use those coupons that come in the mail instead of trashing them. They’ll come in handy as you travel down the road and everyone is looking for a snack.
There are plenty of ways to save money over summer vacation and these are just a few ideas. The goal is to get the best of both worlds: save money on vacation and invest those savings to have money later.
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