Believe it or not, sometimes waiting until the last minute can be the best way to score deals on your summer vacation. If you keep your mind open as to where you want to go, you’ll likely be surprised at where you can go relatively cheaply.
We love to travel in our family and usually like to plan those trips out. However, there is something to be said of being spontaneous and going on a last minute summer vacation. With that in mind, I’ll show you how to find cheap vacation packages if you are scrambling to come up with a destination. If none of those interest you, I can still provide you a plan B option that will allow you to visit virtually anywhere in the U.S. for pennies on the dollar.
Find a Cheap Luxury Vacation
If you aren’t one that likes to lie on the ground and gaze at the stars above you, then I’m guessing that you’d rather stay in a nice hotel. Well, if you wait until the last minute, you just might be able to find a great deal on an entire hotel or cruise package. Though this may not always be the case, it can be a great way to save money when it works out in your favor.
You see, hotels and cruises are typically not packed at full capacity from day to day (even though they’d like to be). By waiting till the last minute, you could show up to the hotel with bags in hand and offer to rent one of their rooms that are currently earning nothing. To them, renting a $200 room out for $100 – $125 is still a win because it was just sitting there empty before you came! They would much rather earn $100 than $0.
I have seen a friend of mine use this tactic several times. Often, they give him an amazing deal, but if they don’t then he leaves and goes somewhere else. It is important to remember though that there is a risk associated with this, so make sure you keep that in mind before planning on using this as a way to save on your summer vacation.
Cruises operate much in the same way. They absolutely hate leaving the dock with a ship that’s only half full. They would rather give you a 75% off stay on their ship than to leave the room empty the whole trip. There are various websites that you can track to find those kind of deals; I typically just use sites like Kayak or Travelocity myself. The thing to remember with this though is that you may also be dealing with a short timeframe to get to your destination.
The Cheap Alternative for a Summer Vacation
If you actually don’t mind the outdoors and like to go camping, then I would encourage you to travel around the U.S. with some hiking boots, a blanket, and a tent. You would be amazed how relatively cheaply you could travel by seeing all the sites, but then setting up a tent for the night.
In a rustic campground, you could get away with a $5 stay (believe me, I know people who have done it). By purchasing your food from the local grocery store, instead of expensive restaurants, you can save money on dining while also eating healthy too.
For this method to work really well, it works best to have a fuel efficient car. My wife and I drive a Nissan Altima which allows us to get roughly 500-550 miles per tank which cuts down on our gas costs quite a bit. If we had a less fuel efficient car that would impact your cost quite a bit and possibly not make the trip worthwhile. That said, if you can do it for cheap it can be a great way to take a small summer vacation and not bust your budget in the process.
What tips do you have to save on a last minute summer vacation? Do you prefer to plan your trips out, or be completely spontaneous?
Photo Courtesy: sparkleplenty_fotos
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