Savings tips to take the bummer out of summer travel

The following article is provided by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling.

Summer is a time of fun and relaxation, but the gentle breezes and the sound of the ocean surf can be replaced by the sound of an emptying savings account. The National Foundation for Credit Counseling© (NFCC©) wants to help consumers avoid the top money wasters that could get in the way of fun in the sun.

Impulsive Travel

Hastily booking a trip at the last minute can be very expensive, mostly because no time is taken to research deals and comparison shop for the lowest prices. Recent studies have found that the majority of travel is booked online, where there is the best opportunity to save. Use the tools available on the web to capture the most savings.

Start by comparing package offers and try to be flexible with travel dates. Many travel booking sites offer special value-added deals that include hotels where kids eat at no cost. You may also catch a break from rental car companies offering free upgrades, giving you and your family a little extra room. When it comes to travel, a little planning helps your money go a long way.

No Spending Plan

A budget is essential for saving money throughout the year, allowing for necessities like housing and food. The same is true for any summer holiday with its mix of familiar and unique spending categories.

Research the destination and compare prices for all of the anticipated activities. Start saving money each month throughout the year in order to have enough to cover as much of the cost as possible. Less worry about credit card spending leads to a more enjoyable time for everyone. The NFCC offers a variety of online financial calculators including ones for travel budgeting and saving for a specific goal.

Extra Baggage and Other Airport Blunders

A little extra planning saves a whole lot of money at the airport. Savings can start with the number of bags packed, if limited to the size and quantity allowed by the airline being used. Each airline has different guidelines, so it pays to check before traveling. Food and beverage costs are sky high in the terminal and on the plane, so bring some snacks in the carry-on luggage since certain types and quantities of non-liquid food items are allowed through security. An empty water bottle can be filled at any public fountain and helps spare the extra expense of buying bottled water at premium prices inside the terminal or on while in transit.

Speaking of security, it also helps to know what items are allowed to be taken through the checkpoints. The Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) has a website dedicated to summer travel, offering plenty of advice that can help save time and prevent confiscation of valuable personal items.

For some relief from the stress of summer vacation debt, and to put the sizzle back into your savings, consider speaking with a certified financial counselor today.

Jesse Campbell is the Content Manager at MMI, focused on creating and delivering valuable educational materials that help families through everyday and extraordinary financial challenges.

  • The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) is an association of nonprofit consumer organizations that was established in 1968 to advance the consumer interest through research, advocacy, and education. Today, nearly 300 of these groups participate in the federation and govern it through their representatives on the organization's Board of Directors.

  • Since 2007, the Homeownership Preservation Foundation (HPF) has served as a trusted, neutral source of information for more than eight million homeowners. They are partnered with, and endorsed by, numerous major government agencies, including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of the Treasury.

  • The mission of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD works to strengthen the housing market in order to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes; utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; and build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination.

  • The Council on Accreditation (COA) is an international, independent, nonprofit, human service accrediting organization. Their mission is to partner with human service organizations worldwide to improve service delivery outcomes by developing, applying, and promoting accreditation standards.

  • The National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®), founded in 1951, is the nation’s largest and longest-serving nonprofit financial counseling organization. The NFCC’s mission is to promote the national agenda for financially responsible behavior, and build capacity for its members to deliver the highest-quality financial education and counseling services.