“Summer time – where the weather’s warm and the living’s easy…and the gas prices are skyrocketing, luggage on airlines costs you at least an extra fifty bucks, and your dream ticket out of town is wildly unaffordable. What happened to the vacation part of summer vacation?”
Lucky for the readers of Galtime, AP shopping specialist Jodi Furman and fabuLESS have extended their knowledge on summer vacationing . . . that won’t break the bank.
FabuLESS offers five basic summer travel tips. These tips allow for, still, a relaxing escape and won’t stress your budget!
1. Vacation Locally
- If you live in Florida, consider a beach vacation. Live in Colorado? Consider white water rafting or hiking. Live in New York State? Rent a cabin on a lake or visit all that New York City has to offer. Most hotels will offer a reduced rate to in-state residents and, additionally, many attractions offer either state resident discounts or the ability to purchase a seasonal or annual pass, or both.
2. Determine whether to fly or drive
- Compare costs: Determine all costs associated with driving -- either simply by using the IRS's estimate of the cost of driving one mile, which for 2011 is $.51/mile, or use your car's mileage per gallon to determine how many gallons you will consume, and multiply that by the cost of gas to arrive at your destination. For a quick calculation, try http://fuelcostcalculator.aaa.com/
- Renting a vehicle close to home and using it to take a road trip might allow you to have a more fuel-efficient, larger, or more reliable vehicle. If there’s a problem on the way to your destination, you will be able to get a replacement vehicle rather than having to wait for a repair. The wear and tear on your own vehicle is also spared.
fabuLESS tip: Generally you can book a rental car and cancel with no obligation. As you get closer to your departure date, check the rates to see if/when they dip.
3. Shop the net for outstanding prices
- If you have multiple airports within 100 miles, be sure to check all of the local (and even not so local) airport for flights. By traveling an hour more to the next closest airport, you might find a fare that is significantly lower and/or a direct flight for the same price as a connecting flight. Same goes for your arrival city -- consider flying into alternate airports. You will also find that car rental prices can vary wildly from agency to agency and even from location to location-- so consider renting in town rather than at the airport.
- And, when it comes to booking flights, hotels, and even car rentals there are a number of options:
- Conventional travel sites where you can book online (expedia.com, travelocity.com,rentalcars.com)
- Bid on sites where you name your own price (priceline.com, hotwire.com)
- Book directly on the website of the airline, hotel or car rental agency (www.aa.com,www.jetblue.com, etc.)
- Call the national reservation line for the airline, hotel or car rental.
- Call the local hotel or the local car rental location directly-- they might have an unadvertised local special, or at the very least they might be able to offer you an upgrade without an additional charge.
4. Consider alternative lodging options
- You might get more space and have more fun too! Rather than renting a hotel room, consider a house swap or a vacation rental instead. Not only will the rates generally be lower, but you are also more likely to have a kitchen so you can make some meals, or at least have some snacks at home, saving you from having to dine out for each and every meal. Use vrbo.com or airbnb.com to search for unconventional lodging.
5. Get great deals on last minute airfare/hotel bargains
- You can often get flights, hotels, cruises, all-inclusive resorts and vacation packages for a hefty discount if your schedule is flexible and you can travel with only a few days or a week's notice.
Visit fabuLESS.com for more traveling tips and ways to spend fabuLESSly!
Jodi Furman has become a national phenomenon with FabuLESS, a quick, easy, and simple way to live the upscale life without the price. As a regular contributor to the Associated Press, CNN, USA Weekend, Wasabi Media Group, WGN, and a weekly segment on ABC, Jodi Furman has established herself as the ultimate Savvy Shopping Guru.
Getaways near the Hamptons:
. Ellis Island has been a portal for over twelve million immigrants and several people can trace their ancestry and find someone belonging to their family tree. Take a jet ski trip out to the island for a days getaway.
. The High Line is a public park that is FREE to visit and suspended 30 above the city.
. White water river raft on the Hudson and take a camping trip with the fam!