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Save on summer travel

June 17, 2009

Summer is almost here, so before you load the kids into the car to escape town, there are few money-saving tips you might want to consider.

When traveling internationally:

  • Visit destinations where the U.S. dollar is closest in value to the local currency.
  • Look for all inclusive packages, such as resorts or cruises and pay upfront in U.S. dollars.
  • Ask your travel agent about locations that may be less costly as they are in their ‘off season’.

Save money on hotels:

  • Ask your travel agent about upgrading your hotel reservation to a room with two king size beds instead of getting two hotel rooms when traveling in groups or with kids.
  • Ask your travel agent to find hotels where kids stay for free or cheaper when traveling with kids.
  • Ask your travel agent to find a hotel room with a kitchenette so you can take care of a few meals yourself instead of eating out for every meal.
  • Your travel agent can suggest properties that might offer complimentary breakfast or heavy hors d’oeuvres in the afternoon.

When traveling by car:

  • Pack the car as light as possible – the more weight, the harder the car works and the more gas you use.
  • When renting a car for a large group of people, renting one SUV saves on gas mileage vs. renting two smaller cars.
  • Make sure tire pressure is accurate so that gas is spent efficiently.
  • Use only the grade level of gas that your car owners manual calls for, nothing more.
  • Use cruise control to run the engine efficiently and save on gas.

Save at home while you are away:

  • Turn the air conditioning off or down.
  • Put your lights on timers.
  • Unplug large appliances like TV’s and computers.
  • Turn off automatic sprinklers.

Other Tips:

  • Buy travel insurance: it may cost more upfront, but has the potential to save you thousands.
  • Fly in and out of airports that may be farther outside of the city to get cheaper flights then take public transportation into the city.
  • If a family member has a business trip, consider adding your vacation onto the end of the trip so there is one less plane ticket to pay for.
  • Consider a volunteer vacation–the volunteer portion of your travel may be a tax write-off.

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