End-of-Summer Travel on a Budget

It’s hard to believe summer is already more than half over. August is approaching quickly and most everyone is already dreading fall and the cold months that are sure to follow. Believe it or not, August is a great month to plan an end-of-summer vacation. Since most travel is done early to mid summer, you can save money by planning a trip later in the year, and by following some money-saving tips:

1.Utilize your credit cards and points to save money.

Starwood Preferred Guest: Through 7/31, 3 stays at any of their properties gets you a free night.

American Express Platinum Card: Get great travel perks with this card like: a $200 airline credit, free airport lounge access, car rental savings, free upgrades and more.

Citi Hilton Signature Visa: Sign up for this card to get 40,000 Hilton Honors Bonus points (with $1,000 in the first month) and use them for 3 free  nights.

Chase Marriott Rewards: Earn 22,500 bonus points with your first purhcase which get you up to 4 free nights.

Chase Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Card: Get 50,000 bonus points to be used for 2 free flights!

2.Use discounts (You knew that was coming!)

Airfare:
CheapOAir.com: Get $10 off airfares with code TRAVEL10 at checkout. See more coupons here.
Travelocity: Get free companion airfare up to $300 when you book a 4+ night stay & flight to the Bahamas.

Hotels:
Holiday Inn: Get up to 20% off your stay for booking 14 days in advance.
Office Max: Spend $150 and get a $50 hotel card to use at over 50,000 hotels.
Orbitz: Book a hotel through Orbitz and get 5% off 1 night or more with code PMCEXCLUSIVE during booking.

Packages:
Southwest Vacations: Get $25 off flight and hotel packages with code SWAVHOME8 while booking.
Funjet: Book a vacation to Caribbean, Mexico or Hawaii and get up to $400 in instant airfare credits.

Car rental:
Dollar Rent-A-Car: SUV rentals for $34.99 per week through Expedia with this link or get up to 12% off any rental with code chep (lowercase) during online reservation.
Budget Rent-A-Car: Get up to 20% off with code U100700 when reserving.

3. Look at off-season destinations and travel times.

Fort Lauderdale: Florida in general is a great end of summer destination. Since it is such a hot spot for Spring Break crowds, the summer months tend to be a little slow and therefore a little cheaper.

Australia and New Zealand: They're slow season lasts through the end of August as it is their winter and temperatures are slightly cooler.

Costa Rica: The low time here lasts until November. Although temperatures are prettys steady, there is more precipitation during their low time.

If you plan on visiting a heavy business-traveler area, you may be able to get a better deal on weekend travel. Due to the current state of the economy, many businesses are cutting business travel and this means some hotels try to make up for that with weekend deals for families.

If you’re planning to send your kids to camp, consider just sending them for the month of August, many camps charge less because this month is less popular than June or July. Also note that you can also claim a tax credit of up to $1,200 for the cost of day camps.

4. Bundle hotel and airfare to get the lowest total price.

Sites like Expedia allow you to buy your flight and hotel together and save you money by doing so. Another huge perk to using Expedia is that they allow you to compare different airlines and prices to make sure you’re getting the absolute best current deal you can. There are even more ways to save on travel by checkout our Expedia Coupons page.

*Be sure to also check baggage rates before committing to a package. Some airlines, like

Southwest or JetBlue, don’t even charge baggage fees. Always take that into consideration when figuring your total cost.

The best advice we can give is to try all your options. See if bundling is best, try booking your flight as late as possible, plan your trip around local deals, do whatever it takes. The money you save could be worth the extra research and planning.

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