July 31 2008 by Mark Deyer
- Seek off-peak destinations and shoulder seasons. Ski resort towns make great summer retreats and often at lower rates.
- Save time searching for low, low air fare rates by using InsideTrip.com. Not only does this helpful site find great airfare prices, it also uses a quality score to help you determine the right flight options that meet your travel needs. Plan ahead, book at least 14-21 days in advance.
- Shuffle your travel dates. Planning a week out hitting historical attractions and big cities? Plan smaller town nights mid-week and push bigger city stays to the weekend. Often you can save on hotel and car rates when a big market doesn't have a business customer taking up rooms and cars. Using the availability calendar with flexible dates at bestwestern.com shows you the rate by date so you can plug in the best dates to stay and save. We recently saved over $140/night by moving our check-in date to Saturday and staying through Monday for a quick getaway to New York.Avoid the busiest travel days, especially when it comes to flying (normally Tuesday and Wednesday make for shorter security lines and fewer delays at the airport). Obviously, holiday travel is more expensive and popular attractions become over crowded - so if you can, plan off-peak travel dates.
- Drive a fuel efficient vehicle. If you have a sedan and an SUV in the garage, you might consider sacrificing a little comfort and choosing the sedan to save a bundle on the cost of gas. Or price out competitive rates and discounts for rental cars so that you don't put the wear and tear of extra miles on your own car.
- If traveling overseas, research your credit card transaction fees before you depart. Many credit cards have extra fees or higher rates for charges in a foreign currency. Find the best options by researching each credit card you have and only use the one that gives you the best rate.
- Keep your car tuned up and the tires properly inflated to improve efficiency, safety and gas mileage.
- Use the lowest octane gas suitable for your vehicle and slow down so that tank of gas takes you farther!
What are some of your other great travel saving tips? Let us know.