By Steve Nitz
With Memorial Day weekend – the unofficial start of summer out of the way, millions of people across the United States will be traveling to various hot spots for their annual summer vacations.
It’s always a great experience to visit different towns, beaches and national parks, but vacations can get expensive, especially if you’re taking the entire family.
With that in mind, here are five ways you and your family can save your hard-earned money when travelling this summer.
Avoid flying if possible
By now, you’ve probably heard the horror stories about the ridiculously long security lines at airports across the United States. Why deal with these long delays when you can already be on the road? Even if driving to your destination will take extra time, you won’t be spending thousands of dollars on round-trip flights for you and your family.
If you do decide to drive, a good way to make things easier is break the trip up and enjoy some destinations you might have missed while flying.
Consider making your vacation a staycation
You don’t have to take a cross-country trip or fly overseas to have a good time. Consider making a weekend getaway to a destination a short drive away so you won’t have to worry about a long flight or costly drive. If you’re a New York City native, take an easy trip down to the beaches of the Jersey Shore or over to Long Island.
For Los Angeles natives, Interstate 5 leads to the gorgeous beaches of the San Diego area. If you wish to go in the opposite direction, Las Vegas can be an option to consider.
If you’re in the Chicago area, Michigan offers plenty of great beach towns. The popular tourist destination of Door County, Wisconsin, with its state parks, wineries and lighthouses is only about four hours away as well.
Washington, D.C. natives don’t have to go too far to reach destinations such as Maryland’s Eastern Shore or Virginia Beach.
If you’re flying, skip the car rental
Renting a car is an expense that can add up, and one that’s not exactly necessary. In bigger cities, there are several good options for public transportation and shared-ride systems like Uber.
When you’re booking your hotel, try to get one in an area of town convenient to the attractions and restaurants you plan to visit. Often times, hotels will have shuttle service to and from the local airport as well, so that’s a good option to check.
Don’t eat out as much
Eating out two or three times per day can add up in a real hurry. However, there are money saving options that can be healthy as well.
Many hotels offer free complimentary breakfast to get your day started. For lunch, go to the local grocery store and buy items to make your own sandwiches, or find a park area with grills to cook a hot meal for lunch.
Whether you take a trip away from home or stay in your community, summer can be a season to enjoy without breaking the bank. You can still have fun in the sun without going broke!