I don't know about you, but I'm getting sick of staycations. We've been doing them since the economy took a header, and I'm all about figuring out how to get my travel on without going into debt. I talked to hotels.com founder Bob Diener, because I figured, you know, he does this sort of thing for a living.
Here are his tips:
- Consider a vacation rental –- more space, a kitchen, and often the same or less than the cost of a hotel room.
- At hotels -– consider two adjoining rooms instead of a suite – often costs less.
- Book in advance -– many hotels offering 21-day advance purchase rates.
- Never pay for kids -– many hotels, such as Holiday Inn, allow kids to stay for free and many have kids-eat-free programs this summer.
- The often-overlooked, best-bargain family vacation destination -– Las Vegas -- book first-class rooms from $16 and deluxe suites from $79 a night. The best days for bargains are Sunday through Thursday.
- Best deal in Disney is Downtown Disney, such as the Disney Royal Plaza from $79 a night. And you can get meals with the characters!
- Some hotels have water parks in the hotel, such as Coco Beach Orlando – keep the kids busy all day long at the water park.
- Stay an extra day –- many hotels offer a free third day or much lower rates for staying a third night.
- Best days of the week to fly are Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday – the rates are much lower and there are shorter lines.
- Join hotels' frequent-stay programs for free and get upgraded or receive other amenities.
Credit Image: www.metaphoricalplatypus.com on Flickr
I am so not taking my family to Las Vegas.
Of these tips, I have done #3, #7, #8 and #9. I've heard Wednesday is the best day to book a flight from others in the travel industry because the deals peak then or something like that. But the best tip I ever got for anything is from my dad: You can do anything if you have either a lot of time or a lot of money. Thus, we start planning travel waaaaay in advance. Partly because it's fun and partly because you truly can save hundreds of dollars by knowing what you want and then waiting for the deals on that particular thing. If you start planning your trip a year ahead, you can pretty much bet a deal on that hotel or attraction will pop up. I find getting all the alerts to be a pain, but in the case of travel, no pain, no gain.
Are you going anywhere on vacation this summer? What are your frugal travel tips?
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