The summer travel season is in full swing and with it comes expenses and frustrations at times. We always want our family vacations to go smoothly and to be an experience we will always remember but in many cases, they don’t go so smoothly. There is always one thing that happens. Below are five summer travel tips to help you save money while on your summer vacation this year or to help you keep your sanity during the trying times.
Visit Warehouse Stores
I shop at my local Costco all of the time. Up near the front with all of the candy there is a rack that contains discounts to local attractions. I can buy movie tickets at a discount or visit the local amusement park for less money. I never really put two and two together until my last trip. If my local Costco has these, I’m sure others do too. When I went down to Washington D.C. for a long weekend, I visited a local Costco and sure enough, found the same rack of savings for local attractions.
Before heading to your destination, check to see if there is a Costco nearby and if close, make it a point to visit to see if there are savings for local attractions there. You may be pleasantly surprised!
Read More: Smart Ways to Save on Summertime Fun
Burn Your Music
This tip may sound old-fashioned, but it is still relevant today. I have found that not all rental cars have the appropriate connection to hook my iPod or iPhone up to the car’s radio to listen to my music. I’m not a huge fan of searching local music stations either. My solution? I burn a bunch of songs onto a CD and then take the CD with me. Most rental cars have a CD player and you can insert the disc to hear all of your favorite tunes. Just be sure to remember to take the CD with you when you turn the car back in!
Read More: 6 Ways to Have a Fun Summer On a Budget
This tip is similar to the Costco tip above. I sign up for Groupon a few months before I head to my destination. Every week leading up to the trip, I get emails from Groupon for deals in that city. The deals range from dining out to events and amusement parks. Since it’s completely free to sign up for Groupon, I never lose out.
I personally like this tip the best because I like saving money when eating out and Groupon tends to offer dining specials a lot, at least for the places I’ve visited. All you have to do is to remember to cancel your membership after your trip so you don’t continue to receive emails.
Read More: 11 Fun & Frugal Summertime Activities
Check for Gratuity
When you do eat out, regardless of the number of people you have in your party, it is important to review the receipt to see if the establishment added in gratuity. Most times, gratuity is automatically added to parties of six or more. But I’ve noticed that in some of the places I’ve visited, it gets added regardless.
When I was in South Beach a few years ago with my best friend, we stopped to eat at a burger joint on the beach. When we went to pay, I noticed a line item for gratuity. I was shocked that it was added in. For the rest of the trip I checked to verify if it was added in or not. In most cases it was not, but ever since then, I always review the receipt to make sure I’m not double-tipping.
Read More: 15 Frugal Ways to Enjoy the Beach
Get a Kosher or Gluten-free Meal When Flying
This tip is for the parents of young children out there. When flying, it can be difficult to watch one kid while the baby is being fed and you and your spouse want to eat as well. Here is a simple tip that solves this problem. When buying your airline tickets, note that you need a kosher or gluten-free meal. Most airlines will serve this food before serving all other food. As a result, one parent can eat while the other parent watches the kids.
When the regular meals are served, the parent that already ate is on babysitter duty while the other parent eats. It’s a win-win.
Read More: 11 Easy Ways to Save On Your Next Vacation
These are just five summer travel tips to help you have the best summer vacation yet. Many times, it’s the little things that cause us the biggest headaches. With a little ingenuity, we can solve these little things with simple ideas. In addition, these simple ideas can save us money as well.
What additional travel tips do you have to share?