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Lower Your Summer Traveling Costs With These Tips

Summertime is upon us. Now might be the perfect time of the year to soak up the sun and go on an adventure.

Keeping costs manageable should also be at the top of your mind. To make your travels more easygoing, we recommend finding a few ways to cut costs as often as possible. Here are a few things to consider when planning your next vacation.

Take Advantage of Your Card’s Rewards Programs

Do you use a debit or credit card with a rewards program? You might be sitting on a hoard of points you can redeem for cashback or purchase credit. Redeeming your rewards can free up money or allow you to pay for things that might otherwise be outside of your travel budget.

To get the most from your travel rewards, you should do some planning. Just like saving for the trip, use your rewards card strategically over the year to get the most benefit. Some cards, for instance, might provide extra points for using them for gas or grocery purchases.

Likewise, other credit cards may have rewards programs targeted specifically to travelers. Their rewards center might include a booking service where you can take advantage of discounts for certain travel staples, like:

  • Airfare
  • Lodging
  • Vehicle Rentals

Using the right card on your travels can reduce the overall cost of your trip. Review your card’s rewards program to learn more about your opportunities to save.

Reduce Your Baggage and Pack Lightly

If you follow the tradition of Spring Cleaning, then you already know the virtues of decluttering your life. The same holds while you’re on the go. Carrying less stuff also means you will probably worry less.

Bringing only the essentials has practical benefits. Take flying, for instance. Checked bag costs will really cut into your budget. On top of that, there’s always the possibility that your luggage can get lost in transit. Bringing along more stuff on your journey costs more than money—it may also cost time. Try to condense your belongings into a single carry-on if possible.

Excess baggage also affects road trips but in different ways. Bulky bags add weight to your vehicle, which affects gas mileage. A loaded-down automobile requires more fuel, requiring you to pay more at the pump.

More luggage also takes up more space in your head. The more things you bring, the more you’ll have to keep track and organize. The chances of forgetting something increase as you pick up souvenirs.

All in all, packing lightly increases the chances of enjoying your journey and focusing on the moments that matter. Try to keep things simple as you prepare for your trip, and see if this strategy suits your style.

Prepare Your Food More Often Than Eating Out

It’s a sign of the times when the price of a fast food meal is about the same as what you’d find at a sit-down restaurant. With this observation in mind, now is a great reminder that preparing your own meals is more cost-effective than ordering takeout.

The same holds while you’re traveling. Preparing meals at your hotel room or rental can provide more bang for your buck. It can be potentially healthier, too.

When booking your stay, look for amenities like an equipped kitchen and refrigerator. This allows you to cook meals, which are relatively cheaper than going to restaurants every day, every time you’re hungry. On top of that, you might be able to make an experience out of grocery shopping at a different place!

Be Mindful of Parking Where Practical

If you need to catch a flight, you will likely use a car to get to the airport. If you are using your vehicle, you need space to park—and that will cost you a pretty penny.

While some of Florida’s airports offer extended parking services on-site, the costs can be prohibitive. Leaving your car at an airport parking lot for a weekend might not be expensive, but the costs become more apparent the longer you are away.

If possible, avoid using your car to get to the airport. You won’t need to pay per-day parking fees if you use another form of transportation to get to the terminal. There are many ways to get to the airport, such as:

  • Public transit
  • Rideshare services
  • Calling a cab or private transportation
  • Getting a ride from a friend or family

If it is necessary that you use your vehicle to get to the airport, find a nearby park-and-ride service. These businesses offer extended parking at significantly lower rates than parking on the airport’s premises. They will also provide a shuttle that will take you to and from the terminal.

Taking a few cost-cutting measures while you’re on vacation still adds up. First Florida provides tools to get the most from your next trip. Explore our website to learn more about our financial products, like the Diamond Rewards Visa credit card.


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