How to Plan a Money-Saving Stay-Cation
By Pete Scott, APR
When planning a family getaway, money is always top of mind. With summer right around the corner, now’s the time to figure out how to snag the best travel deals! My favorite travel trend? Stay-cations. Here are some tips on how to plan a money-saving stay-cation!
Turn to Unconventional Methods. If you decide last minute to plan a getaway, there are some great options to help you find the best deals, but make sure not to forget your smartphone! Travel apps have become the go-to for deals both close to home and across the country. In most cases, the big online portals will all have the same rate, but if you want to get in on the really good deals, you have to dig deeper. HotelCoupons.com offers the prices that can be even lower than the walk-in rate and sometimes up to 50% off the online rate.
Social media has also literally changed the industry overnight. Hotels have turned to platforms like Facebook and Twitter to share their best rates. In fact, I’ve been known to get incredibly low rates at hotels and restaurants just by asking them for a deal on Twitter.
Drive Smart. While stay-cations are “the” travel trend right now, learning to drive smart can really help you save money. Websites like FuelMeUp and GasBuddy have the inside scoop on the cheapest gas in town. Type in your zip code or city online and voila! Cheapest gas in the city. Already on the road? GasBuddy has an app that can be downloaded and used on your smartphone.
WAZE is also great have. It’s a free GPS navigation app that gives you up-to-the-minute traffic details, helping you get where you need to go as quickly as possible.
Be Flexible. As nice as it is to go on vacation during peak travel months, it can also be pricey. Being flexible in your travel is a great way to gain more bang for your buck. Try planning travels during the “off season” when hotels have a little more wiggle room with their rates.
Whether you’re planning travel ahead of time or heading out last minute, snagging great travel deals and traveling smart is easy. Utilize these methods above, and you’re sure to find the best deal around!
Pete Scott is the Director of Marketing for Travel Media Group and HotelCoupons.com, a leader in saving travelers money on hotel rooms at nearly 5,000 hotels nationwide for more than 30 years.