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Spring break and summer planning: How to save big bucks on your vacation
Whether you earn a living as a full-time employee or spend time completing paid surveys for some extra cash, one thing is certain: You work hard for your money. So when you're planning a vacation to unwind, you want to get the most bang for your buck.
Traveling for cheap is a skill you cultivate over time. If it were easy to find affordable flights and inexpensive hotels, wouldn't you travel all the time? Well, here are a few ways you can fit those big trips into your budget and schedule them more often.
Pick the right location
One of the biggest costs of travel is the airfare itself, but you can dodge this expense by simply going somewhere close by. Instead of setting your sights on that tropical destination across the globe or that slice of culture thousands of miles away, search for a similar place near you. Here are a few examples.
- Table that African safari for a trip to Yellowstone. Replace those zebras, gazelles and lions with buffalo, elk and grizzly bears. It's an unspoiled plot of pure Americana that will excite any nature lover, and it's not a continent away. Or you can try Yosemite if the sweeping peaks are more your speed. Both destinations are the top-rated affordable vacation spots in the U.S., according to U.S. News & World Report.
- If you want to see the big lights in a big city, go to Las Vegas. Believe it or not, the City of Sin is actually one of the best budget locations to travel to, according to CBS News. Flights are inexpensive, and hotel rooms are cheap, but gambling can set you back a lot if you indulge too much. Avoid the urge, and Vegas can be an affordable getaway.
- Find your tropical paradise in Puerto Rico. Contrary to popular belief, Hawaii isn't the only paradisiacal island with beautiful beaches. You can find the same relaxing tropical environment in the Puerto Rican capital of San Juan, which is one of the best U.S. cities for affordable getaways, according to Travel + Leisure.
Take advantage of some popular Apps
In this modern age, there are dozens of travel apps geared specifically for saving your hard-earned money while on vacation. Here are just a few examples you should check out the next time you're packing your bags.
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- AirBNB has become a trusted source of cheap rooms for rent thanks to a connected community of locals. Consider passing up those hotel fees to rent a room at a residence for a night or two.
- Hotel Tonight is specifically for those last minute travelers that insist on booking a room, and it can actually save you a decent sum. The app collects information from hotels about their unsold rooms and can help you find the highest quality places for the best value.
- The AAA Mobile app gives members information in any area about discounts at restaurants, hotels, shopping plazas and more. Consider becoming a member and downloading this nifty tool before your trip.