The following is a post from Contributing Writer Jenny Reed. Jenny, through her business, helps her clients in Cumming and nationwide take the vacations of their dreams. Have you started thinking about your Spring Break or Summer Travel plans?

Traveling Without Breaking the Bank

It is not hard to turn on the television to hear news of a slumping economy.  It is enough it seems to keep anyone for traveling these days particularly internationally.  However, that is not the case.  Despite recession worries, travel trend watchers say Americans aren’t giving up their vacation plans just simply being more cost conscious.
Spring break vacations are fast approaching followed shortly by summer so the last minute planning has begun. So traveling on a budget is all about making the most of what and who you know.  Here are some key things to remember when planning your next trip.

  • Travel off-season. Every destination has a season that is considered a “value season”.  This means lower prices and less crowds.  January and September are great months to find great travel rates.  Rome in August, for example, sees many restaurants and galleries closed, but hotel rates are often slashed.  But the sights you don’t have to go inside to enjoy such as the Trevi Fountain are more than enough to keep you occupied for a few days.
  • Book early. Plan ahead and take advantage of early booking savings. Often times these deals are even better than last minute deals.   Ask your travel planner for a payment plan.  For airfare, if your travel is less than two weeks out, drive!
  • For airfare be flexible. Traveling on Fridays and Sundays are most expensive with the highest demand, so if you can, try Thursday or Monday. Monday AM flights are often drastically less expensive.
  • Book a travel package. Very often you can save money by booking package deals that include the airfare, hotel, meals, car rental etc.  See the tip above though!
  • Use public transportation. Many cities worldwide offer reliable and affordable bus lines serving resort areas. Public and private ferries and water taxis also can be a fun and reasonably priced way to get around. Quality of service and safety vary widely from city to city, however, so be sure to check first before jumping on the local jitney.
  • Don’t overlook the Visitor Centers if you are traveling by major highways. These places often have brochures for ideas of places to visit and books that contain hotel discounts. Some bigger tourist places such as Orlando offer coupon dispensers that sit along the roadside.  Often you can request information online as well.
  • Check local papers.   Also ask the locals if they know of any free or low-cost entertainment opportunities. Often, there are free park concerts, church concerts, etc., that only the locals or the local newspapers know about.
  • Be creative with the planned activities. Plan a picnic lunch, hike along a bubbling stream, fly kites on a windy day, or skip rocks across the mountain lake.
  • Seek the free advice and services of a seasoned travel agent. Avoid the mega online travel seller with deals that appear to be too good to be true. Seek travel experts that not only provide invaluable and personalized service but can often times get unadvertised deals.  It also is nice to be able to talk to the same person when you have a question.

So plan ahead, seek advice and travel!  Don’t let the economy or bad news take the place of truly enjoying time together with your friends and family.   Whether it is a long weekend at the lake or a cruise to Caribbean, relax and enjoy the escape from reality.  It is amazing what being away from the cell phone, television, email, and work can do to regenerate the soul!  Happy travels!

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Phone – 678.947.5115
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