Spring is fully in bloom, so if you’re beginning to feel the itch to get away this summer, it’s certainly time to start hunting down the deals. In other economies you would often have found fantastic deals for last minute travel, but with gas prices high and the dollar fairly weak internationally, booking early now gives you the best chance to save big on vacation. Summer is only a few months away, so if you’re serious about hitting that untouched beach, partying in the city or finding paradise off the beaten path, you’ll need to be strategic in order to find an affordable option. Keep in mind that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. You want to save money, but you also want to be sure you’ll have a good time on your chosen vacation. So while they might not be the most glamorous, here are some of the best tips for inexpensive travel this summer.
Skip the flight. For many vacations getting there is the most expensive part. Airfare to your destination of choice will probably cost more than your entire hotel stay, even at a fancy resort. So if you’re okay with staying within the country, consider trips that don’t require air travel. Driving to your vacation will definitely save you money, even with high gas prices. As long as your trip is around eight hours or less, you’ll absolutely save driving to the destination instead of flying. If the trip is longer, consider taking a train to your vacation. National train lines always offer discounts during the weekdays, and many modern trains get you there very fast. It may not have the luxurious feel of a flight, but you’ll travel comfortably and won’t have the stress of battling the airport security line or hours of traffic jams.
Travel in the cheaper direction. Although the pull of Europe is strong with vacationers year round, visiting our neighbors to the east is incredibly expensive right now. The dollar simply doesn’t stretch very far regardless of where you visit in Europe, and airfare across the Atlantic is extraordinarily pricy. If you crave the exotic but want to keep your budget in order, consider checking out vacations in Mexico, Central America or South America. Mexico has taken a tourism hit due to the drug situation south of the American border, but you wouldn’t know it when staying at one of their gorgeous resorts. Central America offers incredible food and truly outstanding beaches, and once you’ve paid for your flight you’ll eat and stay very cheap down there. Pick a destination you’ll feel comfortable with, but heading south for your vacation will offer more value for your precious dollars.
Cruise to paradise. Cruise vacations pack a ton of value. Not only do you get to stay on what amounts to a high end resort, but you’ll also get to experience stops at several different destinations all in the same trip. You can often find all inclusive deals that tie in with airfare to save on both, and if you keep your shore excursions on the conservative side you can have an incredible trip that doesn’t break the bank. Check out some travel agency sites to find destination reviews that will help you choose the perfect cruise.