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The expensive summer travel season is almost here! Whether you're going on an international voyage or a weekend road trip, it's important to keep your trip stress-free and your budget intact. We have some tips to help you save money on your vacation.
- Sign up for airfare alerts. Sites like Airfarewatchdog will notify you of dirt-cheap fares so you don't have to go looking for them yourself. Airfarewatchdog employs a team of experts that scour the web for the best fares, and they're notorious for uncovering "hidden" sales that aren't advertised. Unlike most fare-alert services, the site includes fares from Southwest and Allegiant.
- Choose a smaller airport. You can often find a better airfare deal if you fly out of a regional airport instead of a major international one.
- Pack a carry-on bag instead. Baggage fees have gotten outrageous. Instead of paying the fee to check a bag, pack lightly and cram everything into a carry-on bag. You'll save money and you'll save time at the airport.
Get upgraded for free. Price isn't the only measure of a great deal! To improve your chances of getting an upgrade, wait until about 6pm to check in. By then, the front desk should know which of the nicer rooms are still vacant and you'll have a better chance of scoring one of them—minus the extra cost.
Make a business decision. If your heart's set on a weekend stay, head to the business district for real value. Many hotels in corporate, financial and conference hot spots are busiest midweek and offer better prices on the weekends. (They tend to be close to public transportation, too, so you can save on cabs, cars and gas.)