Planning that perfect summer getaway is on many of our to-do lists. This week’s Angie’s List Reports gives tips to get the most bang for your buck for your summer vacation.
Sun and sand? Hiking rugged mountains? Or rides at a theme park? There are so many options for great summer getaways, and good advanced planning can help you get the most for your dollar. Travel Advisor Tom Dusing certainly understands the financial pinch.
Tom Dusing, President for Travel Leaders Indianapolis says the classic mistake is budgeting: the worst vacation that you’re going to take is the one you can’t afford. Work hard to put together an itinerary that you can afford, and that you’re going to be able to do the things that you want to do, and not always worry about the money that you’re spending.
You can set alerts on travel websites to receive notifications if fares decrease or new flights are added. But scrolling through websites and calculating rental cars, food and incidentals is not a task that all of us enjoy.
Angie Hicks, Co-Founder of Angie’s List said "If researching and planning isn’t your cup of tea, or if you’re planning a really complicated trip, a travel agent can really help with the details. They’ve seen it all before and can take the stress out of your trip."
Travel agents work with a network of tour operators and have very close relationships with the airlines and the hotels that they work with. That expertise and those relationships can really help travelers when they get into a situation, whether delays or if there are problems with their stay, the travel advisors are there for you before, during, and after your trip," said Dusing.
If you decide to tackle the planning yourself, don’t put it off. Start researching into the most important items on your itinerary first, to make sure they’re open and have space available during your travel dates. No one wants to show up at the theme park, only to find the gates closed.
"Do your research early for your summer vacation because popular destinations can fill up quickly. It takes time and effort to plan, but if you don’t, your vacation could turn into a disaster," said Hicks.
If your desired destination is full or priced out of your range, consider your alternatives, such as changing your travel dates or looking for a different location nearby.
I do like for people to try to get off of the beaten path and maybe find destinations that aren’t so crowded," said Dusing.
Maybe the best way to save on your vacation: plan for time to just take it easy.
"The other thing that a lot of people do, or the mistake that they make is that they plan too much. We can really help you refine the things that you want to plan in advance and leave you plenty of time to go out on your own and find the things that you want to do and enjoy the things that you see along the way," said Dusing.
Budgeting time for a little R&R on your vacation is a win-win, for you and your bank account.