Compare and contrast to increase your saved money on your vacation. From holiday weekends to tourist hot spots, planning a low-cost summer vacation requires knowing what your wallet should avoid -- and when.
"Be flexible," says AAA spokeswoman Heather Hunter. "If you don't have your heart set on one particular place, you can look at different destinations to see what can be most affordable.
"Sometimes, leaving a day before or a day after your original itinerary can provide cost-saving opportunities," Hunter says.
From lower airfare to less-expensive hotel rates, traveling on different days of the week can result in big price differences. With an assortment of travel websites, travelers can search to determine which days and destinations fit into their price range.
However, Hunter cautions travelers against devoting endless hours of research to save a few dollars. "If you wait too long and do too much research, you may lose out on some good rates," she says.
While the past few years have included some especially rewarding deals to lure recession-wracked travelers, there may not be as many discounts this summer because more people are already traveling.
"If you see a good rate, you should jump on it," Hunter says.