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Planning a Vacation List

Planning a Vacation that Will Save Money

With the economy still in a precarious position you would like to take a vacation with your family, but to do so you will have to cut expenses drastically. You are in good company. But where are some of the places you can cut costs and still have a great time. The first thing to do is to start by planning a vacation list of expected expenditures, even to the point of setting up a spreadsheet so everything is in front of you. Then put in those items you should examine.

Start with Planning a Vacation List

1. Make a list. This is a checklist of all the things large and small you will need. Make it a running list that you add to over a period of time. Even for experienced travelers we often forget something, and the time and added expense needed to purchase those things on the road can be quite substantial.

2. Make use of a travel agent. Travel agencies can get perks that normal travelers may not have a chance to get. Airlines stopped giving bonuses to agents in the 1990’s, but studies have shown an average of $80 was saved by a travel agent on cheaper flights, and savings were realized over 90% of the time. And it’s not always about money. By using a good travel agent who is knowledgeable within a segment of the industry (cruises, for instance), they will be able to dig deeper and offer an overall value better than you could get just purchasing a ticket.

3. Be flexible when shopping for value in airline tickets. The more flexibility you have with your flight plans, the better your chance of getting great bargains on your airline tickets. Booking late night or early morning, flying on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, as well as flying off-season will give you the best shot at cheaper airline flights. If you don’t travel frequently, you may think frequent flyer miles are a waste of time. But regardless you should still consider applying, as there are benefits.

4. Try negotiating with hotels for better rates. Chain hotels offer many opportunities through corporate rates, organizational discounts, and at certain times just by asking for them. One option that is becoming more popular, especially in the United States, is rooms with kitchen facilities. Try to use this at every opportunity, as it cuts down drastically on food expenses if you aren’t eating in restaurants three times a day.

5. Use the internet. There are a multitude of sources on the internet to shop around for savings on all modes of travel. A site we use frequently is Trip Advisor, where can get reviews on hotels, restaurants, and many other businesses you may use when traveling. These reviews are written by people who have had first-hand experience at those places they are reviewing.

Obviously these are just a few ideas, but your next trip doesn’t have to be as expensive if you take the time to do some research. And once you get some experience finding bargains, it will become easier all the time.



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