Summer isn’t over yet! There is still plenty of time to take that trip you’ve been thinking about. Relaxing on a beach somewhere sounds great, right? If the only thing stopping you is the money, don’t worry! There are ways to save money and take an awesome vacation without breaking the bank.
Here are some tips and tricks on how a broke college student can save on summer travel
Don’t go too far. One tank of gas (with a good car) can get you 500 miles from home. Plan a road trip and hit all the spots on the way to your destination.
Search for the best deals. There are always airlines and hotels and car rental places running specials. It could be cheaper to get a bundle that includes all three. You can also check sites like Groupon and Living Social. Do your research before making any purchases.
Go with a group of friends. This way you can split the costs evenly. The more people in your group, the cheaper it is for everyone.
Avoid the holidays. Prices always go up around holidays like the 4th of July and Labor Day, so pick a random date. This will also help you avoid large crowds and long lines.
Don’t be afraid of budget hotels and motels. While some of them can be a little sketchy, not all of them are. Read the reviews online and if it sounds okay, book it!
Skip the hotel. Check out sites like Airbnb, Home Away and VRBO. Renting a private residence not only will save you a few bucks but also give you much more personal space and freedom on your vacation.
If you do stay at a hotel, find one with freebies. Things like free breakfast, parking, snacks, a fitness center and pool, and spa access are well worth it.
Fly midweek. Book a flight on a Tuesday or Wednesday and avoid the weekend demand. This shouldn’t be a problem since it’s summer break and school is out of session.
Pack light. If you are flying they could charge you for your bags. Pack only the essentials and fit it all into your carry on.
Vacation like a local. The tourist attractions always cost more. Chat with someone who lives close by and ask them for recommendations on things to do, what to see and where to eat.
Pack your own lunch. If you can find a private rental, or get a hotel with a kitchenette, pack up your cooler. You can make your own food which will help you save money on meals.
Bring your own entertainment. Pack a good book, your iPod and a deck of cards and you will be all set for a mellow and relaxing trip away from home.
See the free attractions. You can still see some great things without breaking the bank. Check out local hikes and landmarks, search for free shows, or just walk around town and take it all in.
Create a budget and stick to it. Before you book that flight or reserve a room, sit down and plan things out. Figure out how much you want to spend on lodging, food, activities and emergencies. Once you’ve got it down on paper make sure that you bring it with you and stick to it.