Traveling is expensive. Hotel rooms, airline tickets, attraction fees, and other costs add up quickly, especially if you're traveling with your entire family, but that doesn't mean that you can't go on vacation. Here are five ways to save money on your next vacation.
Travel during the off-season
Traveling during the off-season can help you save money on your next trip. This is thanks to supply and demand. During the peak season, hotels, airlines, and attractions are in very high demand, and can charge very high prices. During the off-season, their business is much slower and they have to offer low prices to attract customers.
The peak season for many destinations is when your kids are out of school: the summer holidays, Christmas break, and March break. You can save money on your family vacation by pulling your kids out of school for a week or two during the off-season.
Travel on weekdays
Traveling on weekdays is another great way to save money on your trip. Mid-week specials during the off-season can help you afford a trip that you could never pay for during the busy season. Many tourism based businesses like hotels and attractions struggle to break even during these times, and have to lower their prices significantly to attract customers and maintain adequate cash flow.
Hotels base their rates on occupancy, so if the hotel is nearly empty, you'll get a lower price than you would if the hotel was almost full. The same principle holds true for airlines and other similar businesses.
Book through a third-party agency
It's not always possible to travel during the off-season or during the middle of the week. If your kids can't miss school, you'll have to travel during the peak season or on a weekend, but fortunately, you can still save money during those times. The trick is to book through an online travel agency instead of going directly through the hotels and airlines.
Online travel agencies (there are many of them) sell discounted inventory for hotels, airlines, and other travel businesses. You can get a great deal from these companies as long as you are flexible about what hotel you stay in or what airline you fly with. Some of these agencies have better prices than others, so shop around before you buy.
Look for coupons
Everyone knows that coupons can help you save money at the grocery store, but not everyone knows that hotels, attractions, and amusement parks also offer coupons. Check the website of everywhere you plan to visit on your trip to see if they have any printable coupons.
You can also find books full of local coupons at welcome centers and travel centers. These books will usually contain coupons for local hotels, restaurants, and various local attractions.
Coupons are also available from a variety of daily deal sites.Check these sites frequently when you're planning your trip since it's easy to miss a coupon on these sites.
Bring your membership cards
Are you a member of any organizations? If so, bring your membership cards with you when you travel. Many hotels offer discounts for members of roadside assistance programs, and others offer discounts for people in certain professions (such as the military or teaching). If you are currently a student, your student card can also save you money.
Hotels and attractions don't always advertise these discounts, so make sure to always show your card and ask if it gets you a discount.
Traveling is expensive, but it doesn't have to be. When you plan your next vacation, use some or all of these tips to save money. Continue here for additional reading.