May 25, 2011

Category: Money Management

Ways to save money on a summer vacation

Researching deals on travel arrangements can be a time-consuming process but one that can save a substantial amount of money, according to a report from the University of Florida. For example, finding fun and exciting new destinations can be done through word-of-mouth or by searching online. However, those who do more digging will likely be rewarded with inexpensive or even free activities they can plan a vacation around. 

"I think the challenge a lot of people have is they expect the information to be widely available and it’s just not," said Michael Gutter, an assistant professor with the University's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. "Typically when things are run at a low cost, or available for free, there’s not a lot of advertising going on."

 Another way to save money is to diversify the number of things done on a given trip, the report said. Families don't have to stay at the expensive amusement park all week, getting on the same rides over and over again. Instead, leaving to check out national parks or heading to the beach can be just as fun and rewarding, and there's far less chance of waiting an hour in line to do anything.

 Many consumers have also found that it's easier to save money if they remain loyal to one or two hotel chains, as most have programs that grant regular customers better deals on accommodations, the report said. By checking online for deals on hotel rooms prior to making a decision, it can be easier for consumers to figure out which chain best fits within their family budget.

 Even those consumers who can't afford a big trip this year can still save money on a vacation, the report said. Often, checking out destinations that are within an hour or two, but that the family has never visited, can be just as rewarding as heading to a faraway spot that costs far more money. 

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