Money Monday: It’s Not Too Late to Save on a Vacation

BET.com shares ways to save money if you’re looking to get away.

Posted: 07/18/2011 04:26 PM EDT
Filed Under Money Monday

Money Monday: It’s Not Too Late to Save on a Vacation

August is quickly approaching, and summer will soon be over. But, if you’ve been working hard and need a break, it’s not too late to get a deal on a vacation.

Depending on your destination vacations can cost thousands of dollars, but BET.com offers some ways to cut your expenses during your next trip:

1. Fly During the Week or on a Saturday

Since airfare can be the biggest component of traveling, Travelzoo.com recommends flying on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday when you may save as much as 50 percent on fares. Those days are known as “off-peak” days by airlines. Also, pay attention to when you buy your tickets because many airfare sales are launched on Tuesday and end on Thursday.

2. Research Your Airline’s Baggage Policies

If you’re looking to save money, try flying on airlines that do not charge extra for items brought onto the plane. With little exception, most airlines charge for checked bags, and some even charge for carry-on a bags as well. Spirit Airlines, for example, charges $30 for carry-on bags that will fit in the aircraft’s overhead bin. If you can, try to book on an airline like JetBlue or Southwest Airlines that don’t charge for your first checked bag.

3. Try to Be Flexible With Your Stay

If you have the luxury of having flexible flying days, try “blind booking.” Sites such as Hotwire.com, Travelocity.com and Expedia.com offer customers some of the best rates when their hotel-stay dates are flexible. Expedia, for example, allows consumers to book at a 50 percent discount when their hotel-stay dates are flexible. Through Priceline.com’s Name Your Own Price, customers can name the desired price that they want to pay and Priceline will negotiate with airlines, hotels and rental car companies to get the lowest price available. Sometimes an up to 75 percent off deal is reached. The only catch is that with flexibility through these programs, the travel time, hotel name or car brand is unknown until the purchase is complete.

4. Stay Away From Tourist Areas

Sure, it’s fun to visit tourist areas, but if you’ve done it before, why do it again? Or, if you can easily get to tourist areas, why stay in one? In tourist areas, vendors capitalize on highly priced hotel rooms, restaurants and shops because they know that they can make the most with oblivious tourists. New York is a prime example. Staying in Times Square can cost around $500 a night; however, staying 15 minutes away in a Chelsea hotel, hostel or subleased apartment can cost almost $200 less, or more.

5. Rent an Economy Car

If you’re looking to save money try renting an economy car. Depending on where you travel, economy cars, such as in Atlanta, can rent for as low as $12 a day. Not only do you save on rental fees, but also gas in the long run.

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( Photo: Frank May/Landov)

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