Everyone needs some time to relax and reset. Whether you're heading out for a hike or just looking for the hottest beach around, make sure you save big on summer break with these expert tips. And don't forget to pack our favorite travel accessories for your vacation! Here are 24 tricks that save you lots of money on travel.
Southwest Airlines allows two free checked bags under 50 pounds and JetBlue includes free checked bags when choosing Blue Plus, Flex or Mint fares. But for other airlines, checked bags cost an average of $ 25 a night. PCS. Save money by packing light and coordinating with your travel buddies to consolidate items you need to check, such as full-size fluids or sports equipment in a bag, and split the cost.
Take the road less traveled.
Super popular holiday destinations tend to be crowded and expensive. Ask friends and family to lesser-known places they have loved.
Set appointment alerts.
Not picky about where you travel? Sign up for error pricing warnings (offers from an airline that randomly gives a fare) at Secret Flying and The Flight Deal, which could potentially save hundreds on air travel.
Smaller crowds, lower prices - what's not to love about traveling in the off-season? For the Caribbean and Mexico, May to November is considered off-peak. For Europe, it is from November to March. For cruises, low-interest months are January through March.
Book on Tuesdays.
If you've been waiting for flights to drop, set a reminder to check prices around 7 p.m. 4.30 pm EST on Tuesdays to prevent the cheapest rates. Often airlines will send their prices for the week that morning. Then all the different airlines will look at what the offers their competitors are doing, and usually, these afternoon rates are settled and adjusted.
Be flexible with dates.
When weighing your options on comparison sites, experiment with mid-week departure and arrival days, which have lower prices than the weekends.
Take an outdoor adventure.
Over 180 YMCA camps allow parents and children to connect over crafts and campfires through programs designed for families. Seven locations serve exclusively as family camps - either in summer or year-round - in places like Colorado, New Hampshire, and Missouri. Dude ranches and farms can also satisfy your family's need for fresh air on a budget.
Use comparison sites.
Check Expedia, Priceline, and Kayak for the best prices on flights, rental cars, hotels and even cruises. If you are looking for bus and train options try Wanderu. Narrow your search by budget, ratings, amenities and more. "Plus, you can use coupon codes on these sites to save even more," said Jeanette Pavini, Emmy Award-winning consumer reporter and savings expert for Coupons.com.
Escape to a big city for cheap.
Washington, DC and San Diego top several lists of best cities for family vacations. In the nation's capital, all 17 of the Smithsonian's DC museums (plus the zoo) offer free admission. And San Diego is practically a great playground: Watch sailing year-round in nearby La Jolla or drive to the coast of Coronado Island and enjoy the 16-mile bike path.
Choose a cruise.
A great alternative to all-inclusive resorts, family cruises remove some of the stress in the budget for each meal, from point A to point B, and plan a daily itinerary that will please everyone. Bonus: Royal Caribbean offers reduced prices for police, firefighters and the military; The Disney Cruise Line extends savings to military personnel.
Take the train.
From Tuesday to Friday, visit Amtrak.com and purchase select one-way Amtrak tickets for 30% off through its SmartFares program. The discount only applies to trips taken within three weeks of the booking date and excludes travel on Sundays and Fridays. Learn more about Amtrak's daily discounts for kids, students, seniors, veterans, AAA members and more and sign up for emails for other campaigns.
Take a drive.
Use roadtrippers.com to browse hundreds of planned routes, no matter what your starting point. Or go your own way on the spot by checking your family's preferences: beaches, barbecues, children's attractions and more. Find cheap gas along the way by searching for gas stations in the Google Maps app.
Book wheels for cheap.
Check out AutoSlash for cheap rental cars. The site monitors your vehicle reservation until your pickup date, and if it finds a lower rate, it warns you to re-order.
Compare rental rates.
Before renting a car, crack the numbers for a daily versus weekly rate. Most companies start offering a weekly discount when you pay for at least 5 days. If you are on the cusp, consider choosing the full weekly rental even if your trip is not that long.
Now that you have some tips on how to travel for cheap, let's get started seeing the world.