Whether your ideal vacation is lounging poolside, climbing a mountain or touring historical sites, there are ways to experience the trip of your dreams without sending your budget on a downward spiral. Here are some of our best money-saving vacation tips:
Plan with online tools.
Before you buy plane tickets or make hotel reservations, check out online comparison tools and travel websites, such as Expedia®, Airbnb, Jetsetter™ and CheapOair®. Coupons and discounts are often readily available – especially for last-minute travelers. If you book by phone, ask the desk agent to beat the online rate.
Make lunch your main meal.
Lunches are often 30% cheaper than the same entrées on a dinner menu, so consider filling up at your mid-day meal instead of your evening meal for easy savings. As for snacks, stock up before you leave home to prevent the need to buy food in expensive tourist areas during your trip.
Travel Off Season.
If possible, travel just before or after peak season, depending on your destination. Not only are prices generally lower, but the crowds will also be smaller – resulting in monetary savings as well as time savings thanks to shorter lines and wait times for restaurants and attractions.
Take advantage of discounts.
As a First Commonwealth member, you have access to discounted tickets to Crayola Experience and Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom. You can also take advantage of the Kids Bowl Free program , which lets your children enjoy two free games of bowling all summer long. Finally, don’t miss out on the Every Kid in a Park initiative, which grants fourth graders a free pass to the country’s national parks. Visit www.nationalparks.org/our-work/campaigns-initiatives/every-kid-park for more information.
Consider a less-traditional trip.
Staycations are all-the-rage these days, but if you’re desperate to leave home – while still saving cash – consider visiting a relative who will let you stay in their home. Or, if you don’t mind sleeping in a tent, head to a campground where you’ll be able to enjoy the great outdoors for a much cheaper price than staying in a hotel.