6 Ways to Save on Your Summer Vacation

Saving & Budgeting
Family on the beach

Whether the ocean or the open road is calling you, it’s time for a vacation! We deserve one after last year, but first, you need to work out the financial details. How are you going to pay for your getaway? How much can you realistically spend?

Ideally, a plump vacation fund that’s fed throughout the year is the best way to go. If you’re like some, and have procrastinated a bit, you may not have thought about how to pay for a vacation until it’s a few weeks away. To make things worse, according to a 2017 survey conducted by LearnVest, an alarming 74% of Americans go into debt to pay for a vacation. Don’t become a statistic!

Be proactive in planning your vacation by saving up for it in advance. Forgo some luxuries in the months or weeks leading up to your vacation and save the extra cash for your getaway. Consider running a yard sale featuring all of your forgotten treasures and use the profits to fund your trip. Skip your weekly dinner out for a while and put the money in your vacation budget.

Once you’ve got the money saved up, create a realistic vacation budget. These six vacation saving tips will help you plan the perfect getaway while staying well within your outlined budget.


1. Timing is Everything

Be a savvy shopper. There is an ideal window for buying everything, and booking airline flights is no exception. Flight prices generally fluctuate until departure day, but experts say the sweet spot is 54 days before your travel date. If you don’t have time to check prices all day, sign up for emails from a savings alert site. Let them know which dates and locations you’re interested in, and they’ll let you know when a flight goes on sale so you can book your discounted tickets before they’re sold out.


2. Clear Your Online Browser’s Cache

Hotel and airline sites use cookies to determine why you’re shopping. They’ll see which days you’re searching and raise their prices accordingly. Beat the system by clearing your cache before every new search so they can’t read into your browser history. You might see as much as a 50% drop in prices when searching with an empty cache!


3. Sweet-talk Your Way to Savings

Just because your hotel room is pre-booked, it doesn’t mean you can’t save. Don’t be shy about asking for an upgrade at check-in. About 78% of hotel guests who request an upgrade at the front desk actually receive one. Some face-to-face schmoozing can go a long way! Also, by 6 p.m., most hotels know which rooms will be filled for the night. If you check in later in the day, you’ll have a better chance at getting the keys to the room with the incredible view — even with your economy-class price tag.


4. Never Pay Full Price

You can score a deluxe vacation without the deluxe price tag — all it takes is a little research. Check sites like coupondivas.com, entertainment.com and Groupon.com for amazing deals and deep discounts for local eateries and entertainment centers. You can also find cheaper tickets to nearby amusement parks by looking for sellers on Craigslist. Also, if you’re traveling with kids, don’t forget to look up restaurants with “Kids Eat Free” promotions.


5. Freebie Fun

Challenge yourself to enjoy one day of your vacation without spending any money at all. Search local sites and blogs for write-ups about fantastic free things to do nearby. You might find a charming family farm, a gorgeous waterway, a fun splash pad for the kids or a scenic hiking trail. Or, just spend the day at the closest beach!

Don’t eat out on this day either. Many hotels include a continental breakfast — take full advantage. For lunch, you can picnic on sandwiches. Dinner can be something effortless and delicious that you brought from home or pick up at a local supermarket. Consider packing a travel grill or panini maker for easy meals. You can heat up some hot dogs or burger patties, or bring some baguettes and an assortment of sliced cheeses for fresh paninis. Round off the meal with some pre-sliced veggies. You’ll be surprised at how much fun you can have without spending a penny!


6. Take Your HVCU Visa® Credit Card with You

Traveling with your HVCU Visa credit card saves you the hassle of carrying cash, and adds an additional layer of security. Your card protects you in ways cash can't. Gain peace of mind with travel protection like Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver (CDW), Baggage Delay Insurance, Common Carrier Travel Accident Insurance, and more.  Don't have an HVCU Visa credit card? Find the card that's right for you.


7. Save Your Mega Event for the Last Day

The taste of dessert is what lingers after the meal is over. End your vacation on a sweet note by saving your most exciting event for your last day away. If you’re unsure of how you’re going to fund your getaway, call, click, or stop by Hudson Valley Credit Union to ask about the different products available to you. We want to help you make your dream vacation come true!

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