8 Ways to Make Vacation Affordable
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8 Ways to Make Vacation Affordable

Plan your next vacation ahead to get the most for your money without sacrificing a good time. Relax knowing you might even have funds left over when you get home. Here's how:

1. Airfare - Book flights on with apps that provide a voucher if the airfare goes down after you’ve purchased your tickets. Follow travel sites by email or social media for last minute deals on airfare. You could also check with a regional airport where low-cost airlines often don’t service the large international airports.

2. Lodging - To avoid online fees, try booking by phone and ask the desk agent to beat the online rate. Consider an apartment or home rental instead of a hotel where you have the conveniences of home, including a kitchen where you could save on cooking your own meals.

3. Food - Make lunch your main meal. Lunches often are 30% cheaper than the same entrées on a dinner menu and you’ll be less likely to splurge on expensive alcoholic beverages. Stock up on snack foods before you leave home and replenish your supply at local grocery stores rather than convenience marts.

4. Search for vacation package deals - Package deals often give great discounts. Find them on Expedia and Priceline, or daily deal sites like Groupon Getaways.

5. Use a travel rewards card - Look for a card with no foreign transaction fee, a microchip, and generous rewards. Credit union credit cards often offer freedom of choice for airlines.

6. Book by your budget - If budget is more important than destination, search “explore” on kayak.com or “flights” on Google.com. Select your departure city, season of travel, price, and get ready to be inspired.

7. Add a free destination - Find deals under “special offers” or by searching “stopover” on your airline’s website. You might be able to squeeze in an extra destination at little or even no cost.

8. Travel off-season - If you’re flexible, travel in the shoulder seasons - just before or after peak season depending on your destination. Prices are low, the weather could be really nice, shops and restaurants are open, and there are fewer tourists.