We work hard all year, looking forward to our vacation. But with the cost of groceries, gas and utilities rising, things like vacations are going by the wayside in order to afford the necessities. However, with smart shopping, you can travel on a budget.
• Travel during the week. Flights and hotels are cheaper. Flights are usually cheapest to book on Tuesdays.
• Passes vs. a la carte. If you can purchase a day pass to an amusement park or attraction, it is usually much cheaper than paying for each portion individually.
• Ask a travel agent. Do your own research online for your trip, then ask a travel agent if they can get better deals for you. Often, they can because they can buy package deals.
• One-way rentals. Rental car companies move their fleets north in the spring and south in the fall. Cash in on low rental rates by traveling during these months. Always document damage on the car before and after you drive it to avoid damage charges.
• Rent in town. Rental car companies often charge as much as 10 percent more at the airport. Take a shuttle into town and rent locally.
• ATMs vs. foreign currency exchange. Fees for withdrawing money from your bank while abroad are often lower than using a currency exchange. Check with your bank before traveling so you know what fees to expect.
• Some credit cards charge fees for using your card out of the country. Check yours before you go. Is the fee worth the convenience?
• Shop local thrift stores for low-priced souvenirs.