Five Easy Ways to Save on Summer Vacation: From Flights and Airfare to Food and Entertainment

Just because the economy is improving is no reason to break the bank; saving money will never go out of style. Start with your airfare – and fortunately, plane tickets are not in the stratosphere for summer travel (it only seems that way compared to last year’s record lows).

There are other ways to save,  too – and none of it has to hurt. In fact, take it as a bit of a challenge, use your imagination and it can even be fun.

Check out these five suggestions; use what works, and see what you come up with. And have a great time.

Five Easy Ways to Save on Summer Vacation

1) Save on Airfare:

  • Look for destinations near major airline hubs: depending where you live, it might be cheaper to visit the beaches of Southern California instead of Cancun, or to see the Statue of Liberty instead of the Antler Arch of Jackson, Wyoming (though don’t get me wrong, the  arch is terrific and Wyoming is amazing). 
  • Don’t fly on the weekends: The most expensive days to fly are almost always Fridays and Sundays because that’s when everyone want to travel; save big by booking flights on Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Saturdays.

2) Save on Airline Fees:

  • Pack light, pack portable: You know you’ll wear your favorite outfits again and again so why overpack? Khaki weighs less than denim, and you only have two feet so leave some shoes at home. No need for a blow dryer – even the most modest motel chains supply them these days; and unless you’re traveling to the middle of nowhere, stock up on toiletriess upon arrival. Remember, a family of four can save as much as $200 (or more) on airline bag fees – if everyone uses a carryon.h3

3) Save on Transportation

  • Mass transit: If you must rent a car or travel by taxi, you can at least save on travel to or from the airport (and probably get a better rate on your rental by avoiding airport car counters). In New York City, there is good airport bus service from JFK, LaGuardia and Newark that takes you right into Manhattan; at LAX, Flyaway buses go to West LA, Downtown, the Valley and even Orange County. Both services are bargains.

4) Save on Food:

  • Dine al fresco for less: The beach, the countryside or a city park – all are perfect for picnics. Stop at a supermarket for some Stilton, sausage, a baguette and some pears – or hummus, pita and dried apricots – plus a really good bar of chocolate. Add a bottle of vin ordinaire and you’ll think you’ve just stepped off a flight to Paris (well, maybe). Don’t forget to pick up a cheap corkscrew.

5) Save on Entertainment

Now go have some fun.

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Published: May 17, 2010