|17 ways to stretch holiday vacation
M. Arthur Bankrate.com||
No matter what your vacation
plans are, you'd like to have more money to spend, right?
A little extra cash isn't really that difficult to find. It's
probably already in your vacation budget. You just need to dole it out wisely.
whether you're catching the red-eye to see mom and dad, taking the kids to visit
the grandparents, planning a weeklong trip or just a weekend excursion, you'll
get the best deal if you plan early.
Here are more than two
weeks' worth of tips to pack in your suitcase:
|A suitcase full of money-saving travel tips
Fun on a flexible schedule. The more flexible your window
of travel -- when your trip starts and how long it lasts -- the more options you
have for savings. You'll be able to take advantage of airline ticket sales and
the cheapest days to travel. Generally, it's a better deal to travel midweek than
over the weekend.
Shop around for best airfare. The Internet makes it easy. Check for online
specials from individual airlines, and then visit sites such as Travelocity,
"You can probably do that in half an hour," says Charles McCool,
author of "Winning the Airfare Game." "You don't have to go crazy."
Cash in on credit card air miles. Use your credit card to make
monthly purchases and pay that balance off every month. The benefit: You'll accrue
air miles faster. Cash them in for ticket upgrades and free travel.
Rental cars for less. Shop early over the Internet. You can book
a rental car in the low season for less, even if you'll be using it in the peak
season, says Shel Horowitz, owner of FrugalFun.com
and author of "The Penny-Pinching Hedonist: How to Live Like Royalty with
a Peasant's Pocketbook."
Procrastinated in booking a car?
Avoid renting a car at the airport. You'll find more competitive rates, plus avoid
extra surcharges at car rental agencies away from the convenience of the airport.
Bus, subway, trolley and ... feet. If you are visiting a large
city, use public transportation instead of renting a car.
Start your road trip car-happy. Keep the tires
inflated properly. Underinflated tires waste fuel and wear out the tire tread.
Plus, a well-tuned engine burns less gas. The right parts and fresh oil keep your
engine happy and less thirsty for gas. Check out more gas
savings tips on Bankrate's auto channel.
Riding rails to relaxation. If you're not in a hurry, why not travel by
train? The Internet can help you research and plan a getaway by rail. Web sites
with rail travel advice and vacation information include The
Train Traveler and Trainweb.
But it's tough to land a superlow fare.
no equivalent of consolidator airfares in the train industry," says Don George,
global travel editor for Lonely Planet Publications. "It's really hard to
find really great deals, but it's worth investigating a couple of choices."
As with airfares, some of the best deals on rail travel
can be purchased online. Amtrak offers discounted tickets on a first-come, first-served
basis to online customers. You may also want to check out train fares available
through a local travel agent.