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Top 7 money-saving tips for summer travel

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This story is sponsored by Get Away Today Vacations. Learn more about Get Away Today Vacations.

With summer vacation just around the corner, kids and adults everywhere are chomping at the bit to experience everything that comes with these months of splendor. But, even with the time off from school, it wouldn’t be summer vacation without taking a vacation or two ... or three.

In order to help you make the best of your summer vacation, Get Away Today brings you the top seven money-saving tips for summer travel.

1. Drive…or fly

With gas prices averaging $0.50 per gallon lower than last summer, driving is a really cost effective option for traveling, especially if you have a larger family. However, airlines have also been offering some pretty great deals. If you’re traveling as a couple or small group, it will be worth it to compare the price of a flight over a drive.

Check alternate airports and airlines to find the best deal. If you’re headed to Disneyland, check airfare into LAX, Orange County and Long Beach. Also, keep in mind that although driving can save you some cash, you’ll be spending extra time on the road and add that into your calculation.

2. Plan mealtime

When you’re on a trip, it's much more difficult to whip up a bowl of soup or a tossed salad, yet many travelers forget to plan for meals and end up spending a good portion of their travel budget on overpriced food.

Save money on food by packing snacks for the road and filling a cooler with meal items you can use to have a picnic at a park along the way. Also, consider booking a room with a kitchen so you can cook your meals or check if the hotel has complimentary breakfast.

Plan ahead for your meals so you aren't left spending unnecessary money that could be best spent elsewhere.


3. Pay attention to the fine print when booking hotels

Not all hotel “deals” are that. Sometimes an offer will pop up for a hotel that seems too good to be true, and in some cases, it is. Watch for things like parking fees, resort fees, extra guest fees and more. Those can add up and aren’t often included in a really low per night price.

Companies like Get Away Today often negotiate those things and even more so you don’t get any surprise charges when you check in or out. Just be sure that you’re comparing apples to apples when price shopping hotels.

4. Stay longer

This may seem counterintuitive, but generally, the longer you stay the better incentives a hotel or attraction will be. For example, many of the hotels work with travel agencies to offer a fourth or fifth night free for guests who want to stay a little bit longer.

Also, when looking at Disneyland tickets, if you go one day, you’ll pay anywhere from $155 - $169 for a one-day Park Hopper. If you visit the parks for five days, you can get that same Park Hopper for as low as $64 per day.

5. Plan ahead

Summer comes every year at the same time, meaning you have the entire school year to decide on your travel plans. Not only does this give you time to plan what you will do, but how you will pay for it as well. You may even be able to save up money so that your budget come summertime isn’t stretched too far. It’s also a great way to lock-in your price for your trip in case prices go up and gives you the most choices for availability.

6. Book last-minute

But while planning ahead is a great way to save, taking a last-minute trip is too. Hotels, resorts and even flights often go on sale at the last-minute because the company would rather sell the spot at a low rate than getting nothing at all if the room or seat hasn’t been filled.

You’ll need to be ready to push the purchase button because these deals get snatched up pretty quickly.

7. Look for deals

As much as you might think so, you don’t need to be at the mercy of the airline, hotel, restaurant or even amusement park prices.

Places like Get Away Today offer destination packages at large discounts so you and your family can enjoy a vacation knowing you are getting the best deal possible as you sit back, relax and enjoy your much deserved time off.