2009 Money Saving Tips for Your Summer Vacation

April 2009:

Emily Kaufman, The Travel Mom

You can’t escape talk of a gloomy economy and it comes as no surprise that many American families are scaling back their summer travel plans.  But the truth is that savvy families can always find ways to shave pennies, dollars, and even hundreds of dollars off their travel spending so that they can still take a vacation instead of a staycation.  The recession is actually creating one of the best times to save big bucks on a  vacation that hasn’t been seen in decades.  Airlines are offering deeply discounted tickets shaving 25 percent to 50 percent off the high fares of last summer, hotels are slashing prices and including extras like free breakfasts and free nights, and The Travel Mom, Emily Kaufman, has some tried-and-true strategies to help you take full advantage of recession induced travel bargains.

Think Outside the Box to Save!

Family vacations can be expensive when you add up food, lodging and airfare and even extra baggage fees but here’s one way to “think outside the box” and save.  Instead of staying at a typical hotel where rooms can be small for families, look for an extended stay hotel that has lots of room and has lots of free “extras.”

Staybridge Suites hotels have one and two bedroom suites that can sleep up to seven people.  Suites include in-room DVD players, full kitchens and there are even outdoor grills so that you can cook your own meals saving hundreds when you travel.  They also include a free breakfast buffet everyday to save even more.  You can pack less and save on extra baggage fees by using heir free laundry rooms.  With 150 locations and growing, some are offering up to half off on weekends through the end of summer so check out the savings at Staybridge.com.

Think Off-Season and Get Great Travel Deals.

If you think “off-season” and go off the beaten summer vacation path, you can really save.  Everyone thinks of going skiing when it’s snowing or the to Caribbean in the winter or spring but don’t know that there are some of the best deals in the summer to go to popular off-season destinations.  And “deals” aren’t all about the price, but all the “extras” where you can really save with value-added promotions.

Caribbean waters off Aruba.

Now you can really save with packages to places like Aruba and their “One Cool Family Vacation” promotion where kids stay free, eat free, and get free daily activities at participating resorts.  In addition to the sun and beautiful beaches, the island has activities for everyone in the family that include Jeep Tours, ATVs, Snorkeling, Wind Surfing, Kite Surfing and even some off the beaten path things to do like visiting there unique Butterfly Farm, Ostrich Farm and even a Donkey Sanctuary.

Aruba’s average temperature is 82 degrees year round and it’s located OUTSIDE of the hurricane belt.  Thirteen U.S. cities have direct flights daily.  You can book your entire trip including the deals we’ve mentioned at Aruba.com.

Think About Protecting Your Vacation Investment.

Also, once you’ve found your perfect travel deal you don’t want things like flight delays, a medical emergency, lost luggage or even a lost job to ruin your vacation, so you need ot protect your travel investment with a flexible travel insurance plan.  TravelGuard.com offers a number of plans to meet your specific travel plans – no matter where you’re going or what you’re doing on vacation.  Travel Guard’s Gold Plan even includes some great travel services like emergency flight changes, doctor referrals, and concierge services like restaurant reservations or golf arrangements.

Think Family Values and Save.

There are all sorts of ways to save hundreds with family “values” including booking an all-suite or extended stay hotel that include extras like we mentioned, choosing family friendly destinations with lots of free activities like hanging out at the beach.  And also, almost every destination has a free website that has special local deals.  For example, Connecticut‘s CTvisit.com has great ideas of FREE things you can do when you visit, plus lots of savings tips on attractions.

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