By Natalie Marusin
For most of us, vacations are, sadly, few and far between. And, due to the often overwhelming cost of travel, a romantic getaway or a family vacation is not always on the top of our to-do list.
Well, get ready to not only add a trip to your list, but grab that pencil to cross it off. As unlikely as it may sound, there are ways to take a vacation without breaking the bank. Here are three easy ways to be on your way to an ocean-side, margarita-sipping vacation. What are you waiting for? Start packing!
So, at this point, most of us are pretty familiar with booking a vacation online. But how often do you browse multiple sites to find the best deals? Taking the time to really research and find the biggest sales on flights, hotels and rental cars can be a very simple way to hop on the savings train.
Websites such as Expedia, Priceline and Travelocity are great places to start. Each of these travel sites will create a comprehensive comparison list that can ultimately lead you to the best deal available. But, these sites don’t always include every flight out there. It’s important to also check individual airline websites. For example, Southwest Airlines will run flight specials that are only listed on its website, and, unless you book your flight through the Frontier website, you will have to pay a carry-on bag fee.
When it comes to getting the absolute best deal on travel, flexibility is key. Many travel sites will offer great deals and coupons that come with specific guidelines. For instance, Expedia has a program called ASAP (A Sudden Amazing Price) -- in which the site posts daily deals that are only available for 24 hours.
Having modifiable vacation dates will help you save, too. Arriving to your destination on an off-travel day can lead to lower flight rates and potentially lower hotel rates. And if you can take advantage of a last-minute destination decision or book a trip without specific dates in mind, you can save you a ton on your vacation.
Earn cash back
One of the most overlooked ways to save on travel is using a cash back website. By shopping through these sites, you can earn back a percentage of your travel purchase in cash. Once you consider all the money you’re spending on air fare, hotels, rental cars and other travel-related purchases, this can lead to a significant check heading your way.
If you don’t use one of these sites, you are leaving money on the table and throwing your travel savings to the wind. Extra cash equals extra vacations. Now, who wouldn’t be up for that?