Now that school’s back in session, the majority of us have put away dreams of a weeklong vacation. However, you might be dreaming of a weekend getaway during the months of August, September, and October. If you’re planning one or a number of fall getaways, these tips are certain to help you save money and make the most of the time you have with your friends and family.
Book your flights early. Airline flights are one of the few areas of travel where waiting does not decrease the price. No one is going to clearance out your seat on a plane. I’ve found you can actually get the best rates from the actual airline’s website and avoid the headache of sorting through the numerous prices of deal websites, which often tack on extra services and hidden fees.
Check your vehicle’s maintenance. If traveling by car, be sure you check the tire pressure and oil in your car. Obviously, no one wants to break down on the side of the road. However, making sure your car is in good working order will also ensure you get absolute best gas mileage, too. This means you’ll spend less on fueling up and have a smoother ride.
Look into renting a home instead of a hotel. Believe it or not, you could spend less on a home than a hotel room. I always check out sites like VRBO, Home Away, and Flipkey before looking for a hotel room. Or I simply do an online search with the words “vacation home rental” and our destination. This might be one area of expense where it does favor to make an offer later in the game, though. As the date draws nearer, home owners are likely to take a lower offer just so there will be someone staying in their property. While I’ve never used it before, Airbnb is also becoming incredibly popular. The concept is basically that local folks rent out their current apartments or homes or even a room within their home. It might be another resource to look into as you make your travel plans.
Visit one of my favorite sites Better Biding. What’s that you say? Booking sites like Priceline and Hotwire make you nervous? You should probably take a glance at BetterBiding.com an online forum where fellow consumers share which hotels they ended up at after using these popular sites. By carefully examining the area and amenities, you can probably determine where you’ll land and then check out the specific hotel’s website to guarantee it’s a place you’d like to stay. It’s not always 100% correct but for years, I have been able to narrow where we’ll be at and snag a great deal by doing a little online homework.
Pack a pitcher. This is probably my craziest travel tip but when we take a road trip, we almost always bring along a filtration pitcher. Nothing drives me battier than paying $4 for a bottle of water. When can pack our pitcher and get filtered water anywhere we stay along the way. It doesn’t take up nearly the amount of room that a flat of bottled water would and saves you a bundle in the long run!
Check out your destination’s Convention and Visitor’s Website. If you know specifically where your journeys will take you, it’s a good idea to glance over the Convention and Visitor’s website for your destination city. Here in Indy, I write for Visit Indy over on the Doing Indy Blog. Both sites have great coupons and help you figure out what free events are going on in the city. Do a little research before you leave and see if you can’t find something fun and affordable to do during your weekend away.
You don’t have to crash your great aunt’s couch or skip meals while you travel. There’s plenty of ways to save and still enjoy your trip.
What tips would you suggest to keep fall getaways fun and affordable?
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