Book Your Summer Vacation Plans While Yet Winter

Written by  //  January 24, 2014  //  Consumer Tips  //  2 Comments

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The latest deep freeze may have you pining for summer and that one- to two-week respite in the sun you enjoy each year. If you haven’t made your travel plans yet, doing so now can save you money. Here’s what you need to know about making your summer vacation plans while yet winter.

Shop for Deals

Discounts on airfare, hotel stays, car rentals and other vacation expenditures can be found with careful planning. Begin your research now to find the best deals available. If you are headed to a popular destination, those discounts generally disappear as you near the travel season.

You can enjoy discounts by booking your stay during the shoulder months — those months just before and after the peak season when the weather is good, but the discounts are great. This option may not work with school-aged children in the home, however.

Set up a Budget

Based on the costs that you have discovered, align your stay with what you can afford. Ideally, you sock away money weekly for your annual vacation. Taking money out of your pay and setting it aside for travel makes sense.

Regardless of planning ahead or not, if your vacation costs $2,000, you’ll need to have that money in place before you go away or risk running up a credit card bill that you cannot afford to repay. Begin saving money RIGHT NOW for vacation; use a portion of your income tax return to fund your trip too.

Wants Versus Needs

Perhaps your vacation plans include a trip to Florida. Your children want to see Disney World and Epcot, but your budget simply will not allow for that. Instead of blowing your budget, resolve to attend Disney when the funds allow for it. In the meantime, consider taking in one or more lower cost alternatives to the Magic Kingdom.

Among the Orlando attractions that are reasonable and still are a lot of fun is Gatorland. Its single day admission for people 13 and over is $24; $16 for those who are younger. The Orlando Grand Prix is a go-kart racing destination costing as little as $12 for adults and $10 for children if you arrive at lunchtime. Other fun destinations include the CoCo Key Waterpark, Ripley’s Odditorium, and the Fun Spot Action Park.

Look for Freebies

Hear the word “free” and you may think, “what’s the catch?” Sure, there is nothing that is truly free except for a visit to a public park. But there are ways for you to save money, reducing your summer vacation costs.

Look for restaurants where kids can eat for free. Mind you, if your brood consists of three or more children, only two may qualify for free meals. Typically, the way that this offer is made is that one child’s meal from the kid’s menu is free for every full paying adult. Restaurants offering these deals include Shoney’s, Denny’s, Ponderosa Steak House, and other places. Contact these restaurants first to find out what dates, ages, and other restrictions apply.

Vacation Flexibility

Vacationers seeking to save money can do so if they’re able to demonstrate flexibility. Your departure date, where you stay, what places you visit, and how long you’re away are among the ways you can trim your costs. Know that discounting is harder to come by during peak travel seasons.

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