Save money on your next family vacation

July 17, 2009 4:30:06 PM PDT
Get the most out of your time off with your loved ones without breaking the bank.

Ways to save on your next family vacation:

  • Hotel accommodations remain one of the only areas of travel that I would consider a haggler's game. Start by asking for a lower rate - AAA, senior, family, weekend - there are different rates for everything these days.

  • Call a hotel or a car rental company directly, not the central 800-number. Or go to the company's website. Hotels on the outskirts of downtown are typically cheaper. And, renting a car from a location 'off-site' vs. at the airport can save you significant cash.

  • Use coupons or voucher books. Lots found in either print or on the Internet.

  • Avoid holidays and long-weekends if you can.

  • To get the best deals on airfares look at low cost carrier airlines like Southwest, Jet Blue ? both offer popular destinations and competitive prices. Flexibility can save you money. Time of day matters, or a day early or later!
Use technology to save on airfare:
  • Major airlines like JetBlue and Delta are now "tweeting" about special deals

  • Farecompare.com, an online travel site, also just launched on Twitter. You can get real-time tweets on your cell phone or BlackBerry with deals from a specified airport.

  • If Twitter isn't your style, you can also sign up at travel sites like Airfarewatchdog.com or travelzoo.com to get alerts sent to your e-mail.

  • To save even more cash when booking your next flight, here are some tips to avoid paying those pesky fees we've seen jump over the past few years. Do everything you can online, including checking your bags. Some airlines are now charging up to $5 a bag to check them in person; don't bother with a paper ticket, it could end up costing you extra; as will booking flights over the phone.
Traveling with kids? Questions to ask:
  • Are there kid's menus available at the restaurants and in-room dining?

  • Is there a kids club at the resort or hotel?

  • Is there in-room entertainment for kids (ie: a DVD player, video game console or movie channels?

  • Is there a pool? If so, is there a lifeguard on duty?

  • Is there a games and/or activity room?
Things to have on-hand for a long road trip or airplane ride:
  • Lollipops (helps ears)
  • Water Bottle
  • Single Serving Drink Crystals
  • Deck of Cards
  • Handy Wipes
  • Dry "O" Cereal (ie: Fruit Loops)
  • Lace Licorice
About Claire Newell
In what is expected to be a $14 trillion/year industry by the end of this decade, Claire Newell provides the information and tips to enable people to travel, connect and discover. Claire has appeared on The Today Show, Fox & Friends, Good Day New York, ABC Morning News - Chicago, Martha Stewart Living Radio, and CNN Radio. She reaches 5.5 million viewers weekly via daily appearances as the travel consultant for Global TV, and on 10,000 listeners on radio. She is a spokesperson for Disney Interactive Media, and the Vancouver International Airport. Claire has authored or been featured in articles for Success, Professional Woman, Today's Parent, Readers Digest and for various newspapers, and is a best-selling author of Travel Best Bets - An Insider's Guide to Taking Your Best Trip, Ever. Claire is in the process of developing The Claire Newell Collection - a line of travel merchandise and accessories. Visit http://www.clairenewell.com for more information.


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