Summer travel season is about to get into high gear, and with gas prices and airfares what they are, many people are rethinking their vacation plans, or opting for a local “staycation” instead. Before you scrap your getaway idea, consider these 6 ways to save money on summer travel.
- Stop & Shop Gas Rewards. Now, when you use your Stop & Shop card, you can earn points, called Stop & Shop Gas Rewards, that save you money on gas. For every dollar you spend at Stop & Shop, you earn a point on your card. For every 100 points you earn, you save 10¢/gallon on gas. Visit stop&shop.com for details and terms and conditions.
- Get creative and don’t follow the crowd. If you’re just looking to get away, but don’t have a destination in mind, think about where most people go during the summer months, then plan to go elsewhere. During the summer months, Aruba offers 30 to 40 percent off normal hotel rates. You can also find some great summer discounts in Las Vegas, where the temperate averages around 100 degrees. Just plan on drinking lots of water and hanging out in many air-conditioned hotels and casinos.
- Depart and return mid-week. Weekends and holidays are traditionally peak fly times, so booking your flights mid-week is a smart way to save. Tuesday or Wednesday departures and returns are generally the cheapest flights. If possible, fly during the first two weeks of June or the last two weeks in August.
- Consider a one-stop or layover. Non-stop flights during daytime hours are most expensive, so be flexible to flying late, overnight or early in the morning to get better fares. Also, consider a layover in a less popular city-you could save money on the second leg of the flight out of a smaller, less busy airport.
- Kayak.com. You may not have heard of it yet, but Kayak.com is quickly becoming one of the most popular travel research sites on the web. Using metasearch technology, Kayak searches more than 200 travel sites to find the best deals on airfares, hotels, car rentals and cruises. You can even set alerts and have them sent to your cell phone or app.
- Pay your baggage fee online. In an effort to create revenue, most commercial airline companies now charge a fee to check a bag. Jet Blue allows one free bag on domestic flights, but they’re the exception. Baggage fees have become the bane of many travelers, but there is a way to beat the system-pay your baggage fee online, ahead of time. Fees change regularly, so check http://www.airfarewatchdog.com for the latest check bag fees on major U.S. carriers.