Summer is now officially upon us, and that means around the world, suitcases are being packed, hotels are being booked, and tents are being opened. It’s summer vacation season. But if you’re like many people around the country, the last couple years have probably made a dent in the vacation resources you would have liked to tap into for this summer’s travels. The recent global recession has put a crimp in millions of people’s summer vacation itineraries, with global tourism being down 8% this year, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization. But a little belt-tightening should not prevent you and your family from having an incredible vacation to remember this year.
This list of tips, culled from hundreds of tried-and-true money saving travel ideas, will help you find the kind of vacation that works best for you and your family or travel buddy, for less.
1. Blind-booking with sites like priceline.com and hotwire.com can help you score some unexpected deals even in the hottest vacation sites. Here’s how it works: you enter a bid on a hotel room, flight or car rental, and the site tries to find a vendor that can provide a service suited to your criteria at your price. If they do, you’re booked – it’s a non-refundable process.
2. Due to increased competition on the big open seas, cruises are cheaper, and better, than ever. Conduct some in-depth online research to find the cruise line with the perks and amenities that suit you best (onboard spa? Water park? Celebrity chef?) and then book through the cruise company for the best deal.
3. If you are traveling for more than a couple weeks, consider a vacation apartment rental, which gives you more space and can often end up being cheaper than a hotel room. If you live in a desirable vacation area yourself, you can even register with a house-swapping site for an even better deal. Of course, before letting a stranger stay in your home, make sure any valuable items like art or loose diamonds are securely locked in a safe.
4. Keep the global currency exchange in mind when deciding where to travel. Choose a location where your dollar will go far, and avoid travel destinations where the local currency is worth significantly more than the currency you are bringing with you.
5. After amassing thousands of miles, you might think you’re due for a free flight. Unfortunately, blackout dates and restrictions can make it hard to cash in for prime flights. Instead, use your miles to upgrade to business class for a more comfortable trans-Atlantic flight, or try to fly at a less-popular time.
6. The more you get, the more you save. Travel aggregators like Travelocity.com and expedia.com can help you save money on vacations when you book several elements—like flights, hotels, car rentals, and even tours—together.
7. This may seem obvious, but losing important or valuable items can add a significant cost to your trip as you go about replacing the lost or stolen item. Consider leaving valuable and sentimental items like engagement rings at home, and rent a safe in your hotel room if you have any valuables with you. Wear a money belt securely under your clothing, and never hand an expensive camera to a stranger to take a picture of you and your family.
This article provided by Whiteflash.com—the Web’s best source of top-quality loose diamonds, custom engagement rings and diamond jewelry.