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Summer Travel on a Dime

posted: 05/09/17
by: Katie Morton
piggy bank on a beach
iStock

Summer is the season for sun, sand, and making memories. And summer vacations are a great way to do that. Whether it's an epic road trip, lounging on an island, or a cross-country adventure, you can plan your ideal summer vacation without breaking the bank. Here are our top tips for cost-effective summer travel.

1. Explore U.S. National Parks

U.S. National Parks are, literally, national treasures. For the mere cost of a camping pass, you can experience indigenous wildlife, breathtaking waterfalls, and the majesty of old-wood forests. Enjoying hikes among beautiful scenery will expose you to fresh air and mood-boosting exercise. You can choose between campsites, which allow you to rough it, or national park cabins, for those who are fans of comfort.

2. Bargain Shopping

Luxury vacation packages can be had for a steal--you just need to know where to book. Jetsetter is a subsidiary of luxury ecommerce site, Gilt. Jetsetter offers exclusive deals on hotels, as well as full luxury vacation packages. LuxuryLink is another 5-star site (for a 2-star price!) that helps you score great rates on amazing getaways.

3. Sail Off Into the Sunset

Summer is the off-season for many cruise ship destinations and ports. Off-season rates are often a fraction of the cost of in-season travel rates. Check out CheapCruises.com for up-to-date deals and offers. (Boat drinks and tropical-print shirts are suggested for max fun!)

4. Find the Frugal Flights

Airfare prices are constantly in flux. Keeping tabs on the best rates can be a daily process. Try using Google Flights to help you find rock-bottom rates for any destination. If you're not picky about where to go, then many of the major airlines offer last-minute rates for varied locations. Take a chance on somewhere new and you may just stumble upon your new favorite vacation locale!

5. Cheap Train Travel

Even with last-minute low rates, plane tickets can still be costly. Travel by train can offer a stress-free and cost-effective alternative way to see the country without spending a bundle. Amtrak even has cross-country train trips for less than most flights.

6. Bed & Breakfasts

Hotel costs can add up quickly. Summer is an expensive time to stay in many area hotels, so what do you do if you're trying to save money on lodging? Bed and breakfasts are often a more economical choice. The bonus is that bed and breakfasts offer personal service that most chain hotels cannot compete with. Many bed and breakfasts are often charming properties in historic sites, so you're in for a treat.

Summer vacation is an American tradition. The good news is that you don't need to shell out tons of money to make the most of summer travel. Take to the open road, the friendly skies, or even the rails for a vacation that will make memories, without breaking the bank!