Midday Fix: Summer travel tips from AARP

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Dave Austin


Plan the Details
This might sound obvious, but the main reasons vacations fail is lack of planning.  Before you pick a destination or an itinerary, make sure everyone in the group will be up for it.

Have an overall budget in mind, but then break it down into smaller categories, such as transportation, meals, lodging and entertainment. Then, set a realistic budget amount for each of these categories. You can do this either by day, or for an entire trip.  This will help you stick to your budget and not let spending get out of control.

Take the time to find the discounts you are entitled on everything from your car rental and hotel right down to entertainment tickets and dining.

Go Online
Using technology is a great tip for both saving money and enjoying the utmost in convenience. There are literally hundreds of ways to book travel online. Many companies offer online-only discounts, so it is a good idea to check online first before purchasing airline tickets, hotel rooms, rental cars or even entertainment tickets.

Be flexible if you can.  Flexibility can really help travelers save money. For example, if a person is retired or otherwise not tied to a strict time for travel, they should check around for cost differences. Going in spring or fall instead of summer is often much less expensive. Even moving travel a couple days either way can affect prices. While on vacation, seeing a show on a weeknight or during the day can be less expensive than insisting on a weekend or evening performance. Even eating dinner earlier than normal can save you money.

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