Summer Vacation Saving

Ah, finally. The sweet summer days of sun-beating bliss are rolling in – which means that the anxiously awaited (and overdo) vacation you’ve dreamt up amid those blistering winter nights is almost here. And hey, you deserve it! Here are some pro-tips to help you seriously save on your getaway!

1. Be Proactive. Make a Plan.

I think most can agree that the biggest setback when planning a vacation is figuring out how to actually get there without blowing through the money you’ve set aside for your trip. Flights are seriously expensive- but you’ll thank yourself if you get on this a few months in advanced! Don’t wait till the last second, choose a date (or an optimal week) and follow through!

Booking Hacks:

Compare multiple airlines when searching. No one airline is guaranteed to give you the best rate, all the time. Using sites such as CheapOair.com and Hipmunk.com (my personal favorites) help you find the cheapest flights while comparing different airlines. This way, you can be confident you’re getting the best choice for your money.
The cheapest days to fly in the U.S. are Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday, while the most expensive days to fly are Friday and Sunday- be mindful of this when planning your trip- and be aware of the “flexible date” option for the cheapest fares!
Take the Red-Eye or an early morning flight. While of course these are the most undesirable times, they are also the cheapest, and will help you save big!
Fly into the largest airport possible. Don’t waste money on flying into small airports that have limited flight options – they are high in demand and very pricy!

2. Prioritize Certain Aspects. Downplay Others.

What is it that you really want out of your vacation? What are the main activities you want to do? When prioritizing saving, you can’t always have it all- but you can always find a balance!

Saving Hacks:

Choose 2-3 Priorities. If you want to go shopping or do fun excursions- prioritize that, but then downplay some other aspects. Book an inexpensive hotel or Airbnb and bring food to cook rather than going out for every meal. Whatever you choose, creating a balanced combination will leave you feeling guilt-free while having fun and enjoying some much needed R&R.

3. Timing is Everything.
Beat the crowds. Plan your vacation for when school is still in session or go right before a big holiday. This will not only save you money, but also cut the amount of time spent waiting in line for big amusement parks!

4. Groupon and RetailMeNot are also everything.
Groupon and RetailMeNot are the best websites that have happened to the coupon world. You get 25% off your first groupon, and have a myriad of options to choose from, ranging from beauty & spas, restaurants, travel deals, entertainment and much more. If you are a student, take advantage of student discounts- there are a ton of them!

5. Stay Close to Home!
Another great way to save is by staying close to home. Go on a fun day trip with friends and family! Hikes, picnics, baseball games, concerts, and beach trips are a great way to unwind and have fun while minimizing how much you spend. Check out TicketMaster.com for upcoming events!

6. Create a Budget.
Before going away, set parameters. Give yourself a budget for the maximum amount you’re willing to spend on your vacation. Doing this will give you a rational plan before you switch onto ~island time~ and feel inclined to spend more during your break from reality. You’ll thank yourself later!

Sara White