10 Fun Ways to Save Money on Summer Travel

This article comes from MoneyNing.com, a website that discusses personal finance topics on a daily basis. David, the owner, hopes you’ll join him on this journey to be financially free by making prudent choices.

It’s summertime! Time for fun, time for sun, and time for money mysteriously flying out the window. Seriously, this time of year is expensive!

Between graduation and wedding season, traveling will definitely be on the agenda. Here are ten ways to save money on vacations this summer, so you won’t spend September eating Ramen three times a day.

1) Travel with a buddy. One really is the loneliest number, but you can combat boredom and save some cash by bringing a friend, family member, or significant other along for the ride. You’ll be able to split the gas and hotel costs while making memories along the way. Frugal AND fun!

2) Use coupons and codes. Now, you don’t have to go out and buy the Sunday paper, and clip coupons. Travel companies put all that stuff online now! With a quick Google search, or on BeFrugal, you’ll find some excellent promo codes and coupons that can save you thousands of dollars on vacations.

3) Compare flying, driving or walking costs. A smart tool every traveler should use is a Fly or Drive Calculator. You can compare the costs between flying versus driving -- or even save on gas and rental car costs by walking instead. If you are traveling to a walkable and public transport friendly city, take advantage of that and save some serious dough! And maybe lose a few pounds in the process.

4) Try Couchsurfing. There’s a whole community of people who host travelers in their homes for free. If you go this route, prepare to offer up your couch as well. If that isn’t an option, offer to show people around when they come to your area. Concerned about the creepy factor? Check out reviews of your host first.

5) Know about the local freebies. Once you get to your destination, you’ll need something to do there. Check out sites like Free-Attractions, or talk to locals to find free activities to do in the area. You can also do a quick Google search to find out what freebies and cheapies are currently available. Many cities have free access to certain museums, parks, and events.

6) Cash in your points. You know the travel rewards on your credit card, rewards cards and other programs that you have yet to redeem? Use those! You may be able to score free or discounted flights, lodging, and/or entertainment.

7) Brown bag it. It’s incredibly tempting to eat out for every meal on vacation. After all, vacation is a free space for spending, right? Unless you really want to spend a month or two post-summer eating the aforementioned Ramen, you might want to pack a few meals and snacks to eat throughout the day. Bonus tip: complimentary breakfasts are your best friend!

8) Bunk with a friend or relative. If you’re going somewhere with family or friends nearby, see if you can use their couch or spare bedroom for a few days. Your friends and family might even be going out of town and need someone to housesit. Coordinate your vacation with theirs and you could be getting free accommodations.

9) Utilize discount hotel sites. Discount hotel and travel sites, offer an array of great deals on hotels and flights. Doing a quick search online could mean you never pay full price -- the motto of broke travelers everywhere. This is just another way to use technology to save money.

10) Pull out that student or senior ID. Don’t forget to pull out your student or senior ID to use for discounted travel and events. There are thousands of museums, restaurants and tours that reward seniors, military personnel and students alike.

Now that you know you can travel on the cheap, get packing! There is great big world for you to explore this summer -- frugally, of course.

Image thanks to dsearls on Flickr.

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