Traveling this summer? Are high gas prices causing you to rethink your travels? Not sure if you will have enough money to get to your destination after filling up your tank? Are airline tickets too pricey for your liking? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are not alone. Many people are rethinking traveling altogether because of budget concerns. If thought out carefully and with a budget in mind, you can take a great trip this summer you just have to know how to plan accordingly, to save yourself that much needed money!
Once your destination is decided, it is important to start thinking about lodging. If lodging is too expensive at the particular city you are visiting, try looking at surrounding cities. Often times the smaller surrounding cities have much cheaper lodging than the larger cities. Begin your search for budget saving lodging by scouring the Internet. Many times websites such as Priceline.com, Hotels.com, and Expedia.com have excellent hotel deals on most major tourist destinations.
Another secret that many may not know is to actually call the hotel you are interested in. Many times booking directly with the hotel can save you money over booking online. If not calling the hotel directly, get as many different quotes from all the different online sites as possible, then compare who can get you the room the cheapest. The obvious answer would be to book with the cheaper site, since you are traveling on a budget.
Once you have found quotes on a hotel, the decision needs to be made as to how to get there. Will you be driving, flying, taking a bus or a train? For many people, driving this summer will be expensive it may end up almost as expensive as flying. If choosing to fly, think about how you will go from place to place once you reach your destination. Will you rent a car, take a taxi, or will you easily be within walking distance of each attraction you wish to see? If you know that walking won’t be an option and decide to fly and then rent a car, think about this added expense. Renting a car can be expensive especially when added onto to your airline fare; it may be cheaper to drive to your destination.
If flying, there are ways to not break your budget. Many websites do offer cheaper flights. However, another little unknown tip is to call the airline directly or book through the specific airline’s website. I have found numerous flights directly on an airline’s website that are much cheaper than booking through an online travel site. Many people are not aware of this secret, but it can save an airline passenger quite a bit of money, especially if booking early.
If flying, most of the time it is much cheaper to fly out of major metropolitan airports than smaller city airports. Try flying into a major city also; this cuts back on budget busting airfare prices. If you absolutely cannot fly into our out of major cities, many smaller airports offer airlines such as Southwest, Air Tran, Jet Blue and Frontier. Flying one of these airlines, if possible, can be much cheaper than booking a flight with one of the bigger airlines.
If renting a car once you arrive at your destination, know that you need to book a car rental at least 14 days in advance to receive a discounted rates. Car rental agencies also offer coupons for travelers and many agencies give discounts if renting the vehicle for one week. Another tip on car rentals: don’t rent from the airline car rental terminal. These terminals may charge you an airline fee to rent the car. If possible, rent a car from an agency not located at the airport. This little bit of information can often times save you from 10 to 15 dollars a day.
With gas prices so high these days, many people may think flying or taking a train is cheaper. Train travel can actually be expensive, if you choose to purchase a sleeping car. These cars are much more comfortable and allow for a bed to sleep on, but are much more expensive than just renting a chair in one of the travel cars. If comfort isn’t important to you, and you have extra travel time, than train travel may be for you. Keep in mind that train travel can go very slow, with many starts and stops throughout your journey. If your wish is to get to your destination more quickly, than train travel may not be the right choice for you.
If you choose to drive to your destination, no matter how far it may be for you, remember that you may need lodging throughout the trip until you reach your destination. If you are brave, many people choose to drive straight through until they reach the city they want to vacation in. This can be tiring and it can mean a grueling amount of time in the car. But, it can also save you the cost of extra hotel stays on the way.
Gas prices are high. A good way to decide if it would be cheaper to fly, drive, or take the train is estimate how much each form of travel will cost you. Make sure to add in extra hotel lodging, car rentals, etc. if needed. Once you have determined which form of transportation is cheapest, then you can begin to actually book your flights. If driving, a good website to find the cheapest gas in each city you may be driving through is the following: www.gasbuddy.com. This website should be able to tell you where the cheapest gas is found in many cities throughout the country. The best part is, it is absolutely free!
Traveling, especially with the high price of everything these days, can be expensive. Knowing some important tips can help to save you money, and may even allow you to take a much-needed vacation to a place you thought you couldn’t afford!