After a long and brutal winter, many families are ready for a vacation and the Travel Mom, Emily Kaufman, has some money saving tips for your summer vacation. Although you can’t escape talk of a gloomy economy and household budgets are still feeling the squeeze of the recession, you certainly don’t have to cancel your summer vacation plans this year. You just have to know how and where to find the travel deals and how to squeeze every dollar out your vacation budget to maximize a vacation packed with value for less. The Travel Mom, Emily Kaufman, has some money saving travel tips to keep your summer vacation plans in full motion and travel advice for a hassle free trip for the entire family.
1. Save Hundreds of Dollars by Not Staying at Hotel, but a Resort Loaded with Vacation Value. No doubt about it, family vacations can be expensive when you add up food, lodging, gas or airfare and even extra baggage fees but there are great ways to save and get an amazing vacation. Here's another great money saving summer vacation tip. Instead of staying at a typical hotel, look for a place to stay that’s loaded with extras. Holiday Inn Club Vacations have spacious villas in a resort setting and can sleep up to 12 people. With full kitchens to cook meals, you can save hundreds of dollars when you travel. You save on expensive baggage fees by packing less and using the washer and dryer in the villa. There are so many things to do on-site at little or no cost. For example, the Orlando resort has miniature golf, tennis, and even a water park. Now and through the end of the year, you can save $500 for a four-night stay at the Orlando resort, next to Disney World, All the details are at HolidayInn.com. [Note: This offer expired 12/31/10 but check their website for the latest travel specials.]
2. Choose a Drive-To Vacation Destination. Money saving summer vacation tips are definitely on everyone’s mind. Research tells us that since the onset of the recession, people are more focused on the simple pleasures and happiness created by spending time with family and friends and I have just the place for that. This summer, a great drive to destination is the city of Baltimore. This city has great savings on hotel packages, discounts at area attractions, and tons of special events and exhibitions.
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3. Be a Pro-Active Travel Consumer to Find the Best Value Packed and Hassle Free Vacations. You need to be a pro-active travel consumer so you’re able to re-act when deals come up, especially if the deals are time sensitive. If you register with airlines, travel web sites and cruise lines and get on their mailing lists that you can usually find at their websites, you get the benefits of being alerted when there are low airfares sales, cruise discounts and amazing discounts – it pays to be an “insider.”
4. Don’t Over Pack or It Will Cost You Big Bucks. With airlines now charging fees for luggage, you need to know how to pack smart. Knowing how you pack efficiently is just as important as knowing what you take with you in your suitcase. You need to streamline and know that less is more since over packing (and over thinking what you pack) can cost you in baggage fees (maybe even excess baggage fees if your suitcase tips the scale over 50 pounds). You also don’t want the added stress of “schlepping” heavy suitcases through airports and hotels. Whenever you can, pack everything you need for your trip in a carry-on suitcase as packing light has so many advantages and always remember “less is more.” From a camp ground to hotels like the one we’ve mentioned to a cruise line, chances are there’s laundry facilities so you can wash clothes while on vacation and you don’t need to over pack.
5. Plan to Bring Items that Will Cost a Bundle if You Don’t Pack Them. When you pack, make sure you don’t forget pricey items that could cost you more if you have to purchase them at a hotel or on a cruise ship– like sunscreen, toothpaste and personal items. Also, when you get to your vacation destination, stop by a local drugstore to pick up items like bottled water or anything you might have forgot to pack. Having to purchase these at the hotel store or on your cruise will cost you a lot more. Before you board your cruise ship, you can purchase bottled water at the terminal.
Check out our
Travel Resources Guide
for planning your summer vacation with web links to airlines, airline luggage policies & restrictions, travel loyalty reward programs, TSA guidelines, CDC travel health recommendations and warnings, travel advisories, embassies, consulates, passports & visas, and so much more. This Travel Resources Guide
is a very comprehensive worldwide travel directory with practical travel information to help you with your vacation planning.
Admission fees to theme parks and local tourist attractions can really add up and max out your vacation budget, but you can save up to 55% on theme parks with Go City Cards. I've used these for several vacations and saved hundreds of dollars. Just one of my many best travel deals tips you'll find on this website. ~Marianne Schwab
Avoid Jet Lag
You're packed and ready to go on vacation, so now comes the most important issue at hand: avoiding jet lag when you arrive at your destination. A survey by Conde Naste said that 93% of travelers get jet lag but you don't have to be one of them if you use my tips. ~Marianne Schwab
Book Your Trip
Booking travel online should be quick and easy…not to mention affordable and that's why I like Expedia. Did you know that you can save up to $525 when you book your flight and hotel together at Expedia.com? For the best deals, book 60 days or more before you travel because usually the further out you plan, the better the package rate.
Top Travel Mistakes to Avoid Now
I have put together a list of the top five travel mistakes people make that translate into paying too much for a vacation no matter where you book your trip (through a travel agent, airline or online). ~Marianne Schwab
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About Marianne Schwab
TV Travel Show Producer
For over twenty years, TV Travel Show Producer, Marianne Schwab, has been collecting money saving travel tips as a travel producer for high profile television programs. She has flown all over the world and produced live television productions on location from Caesar's Palace on the Vegas Strip to the beautiful island of Oahu. Read more