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Money-Saving Tips for Summer Vacation Travel

Book an air-and-hotel package.  Often times, booking a package, instead of all of your travel arrangements separately can lead to savings.  Look for packages that include admission to attractions.

Pack light.  Many airlines are charging extra for travelers who check more than one bag or have bags that exceed airline weight restrictions.

BYOF (Bring your own food).  Many summer travel destinations have parks or other scenic areas that make a perfect spot for a picnic.  Bringing your own food instead of eating out can lead to savings.  If you get a hotel with a kitchenette, you can cook your own food.  Some hotels such as Residence Inn offer free grocery delivery, so you can order your groceries and have them delivered.

Look for hotels with a free continental breakfast or free evening appetizers.  Everybody loves a free meal.  Getting a free breakfast every morning can add up to big savings during weeklong vacations.

Rent a house.  For large families traveling together, renting a house can be a cost savings measure compared to renting several hotel rooms.  Rental houses also offer kitchens that allow families to avoid spending money on eating out every day.

Stay with relatives.  This is an increasingly common trend, especially when travel prices increase.  Advantages include having a friendly tour guide that can show you all the sites for free, and avoiding eating out every day because of the availability of a kitchen. 

Be flexible in your travel dates/times.  Flying on off-peak days and times such as Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays can often times lead to savings in airfare.  Also, if you are taking a weekend trip consider flying out early on a Saturday morning instead of a Friday night, which can save you hotel costs and occasionally save airfare costs as well.

Consider off-season destinations.  Popular winter destinations such as Phoenix and New Orleans are not as popular in the summer because of the extreme heat.  As a result, travelers can find often find summer deals to these cities.  They still have all the attractions and they have air conditioning. 

Consider secondary airports.  Check the prices at airports that are near your destination.  Occasionally, deals can be found when flying to an airport an hour away from your primary destination.  Compare the costs of flying to your primary destination or renting a car at a secondary airport and driving and hour to your primary destination.  There could be savings depending on the location.

Book as early as possible.  Booking early will give you more travel options as popular hotels and flights fill up fast.  Booking early can also often times save you money. 

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