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How to save on a family vacation

vacation

Airfares:

    • Airline Tickets – Plan in advance and visit discount websites to see if there are better deals.  While these sites might charge you a service fee ($5 or so), they can easily combine flight segments from different airlines easily to give you a great deal.
      • Connecting Flights – You might think connecting sucks but it sure saves you a good chunk of money doing it.  Consider the pros and cons and don’t write it off right away.
        • Travel Light – Airlines are starting to charge for everything now and if you have 2 bags or more, expect to be charged for it.  Remember to not use over sized bags whenever possible and try to keep it all within one bag per person.

          Car Rentals:

            • Be Specific with Car Rentals – One way car rentals (when the pickup and drop off locations are different) are sometimes more than twice the price of standard rentals, especially if the two locations are in different states (or country).  If you need the car for 7 days and will be in the same city for 5 and another city for 2 for example, break the rental period in two and have a 5-day same location rental and another 2-day one day rental.  You might need to go back to the rental facility but it really doesn’t take that long and it might save you a few hundred dollars.
              • Car Rental Coverage – Some insurance and many credit cards have car rental coverage so take advantage of those when you rent a car.  All you have to do is pay with the credit card that will cover you. (Just make sure you decline the coverage from the rental company when they ask).

                Currency:

                  • Getting Cash – Many exchange centers have very bad exchange rates so don’t go there.  Search the internet to find out good places to get cash in the local currency.  For example, a quick search tells you that the best exchange rate is found at the airport and using ATMs in Taiwan and France respectively.
                    • Try Using the Local Version of the Same Website – Due to the rapid change in currency rates, it could be much cheaper to book using the local currency.  How do you do that?  Go to the local version of the same website.

                      Accommodations:

                        • Staying in a Town Next Door – Sometimes the smaller towns close to where you are going have hotels that are much less expensive.  If you don’t mind the 15 minute ride, you might just save that bundle.
                          • Bed and Breakfasts – homeowners with extra space rent out rooms for a lot less than hotels. And, you get a free breakfast!
                            • Vacation Home – If you are staying at a destination for at least a few days, consider a vacation home instead of hotels.  They are often are more comfortable and your cost will probably be cheaper. Many people rent out their timeshares.
                              • Suites – Instead of having two rooms, consider the two-bedroom suites that some hotels provide.  They will end up being cheaper and you get just as much privacy with your own room.
                                • Many hotels allow children to stay free with their parents – be on the lookout for these deals!

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