Summer time – where the weather’s warm and the living’s easy…and the gas prices are skyrocketing, luggage on airlines costs you at least an extra fifty bucks, and your dream ticket out of town is wildly unaffordable. What happened to the vacation part of summer vacation? AP Shopping Specialist Jodi Furman and fabuLESS are here to help you travel the world, soak up the rays on the beach, or have family fun time at a much more relaxing price. Outsmart your travel agent and kick your feet up with that break you deserve by using the following fabuLESS summer travel tips:
If you live in Florida, consider a beach vacation. Live in Colorado? Consider white water rafting or hiking. Live in New York State? Rent a cabin on a lake or visit all that New York City has to offer. Most hotels will offer a reduced rate to in state residents– and, additionally, many attractions offer either state resident discounts or the ability to purchase a seasonal or annual pass, or both. Just make sure that you’re going to visit the attraction often enough to make an annual pass worthwhile.
2. Determine whether to fly or drive.
- Compare costs: Determine all costs associated with driving — either simply by using the IRS’s estimate of the cost of driving one mile, which for 2011 is $.51/mile, or use your car’s mileage per gallon to determine how many gallons you will consume, and multiply that by the cost of gas to arrive at your destination. For a quick calculation, try http://fuelcostcalculator.aaa.com/
- Taking your own vehicle has some distinct advantages– you can leave on YOUR schedule, there aren’t likely to be delays, no “change” fees for leaving on a different day, and no baggage charges. Also, you won’t have the additional cost of renting a vehicle at your final destination and you don’t have to deal with transporting car seats (if you have young children).
- The drawbacks of driving include the wear and tear on your vehicle, the likely increase in travel time, and the utter exhaustion from driving long distances. You can do a quick search of almost ALL online flight search engines simultaneously on Kayak.com to find the best deals for air travel.
- Renting a vehicle close to home and using it to take a road trip might allow you to have a more fuel-efficient, larger, or more reliable vehicle. If there’s a problem on the way to your destination, you will be able to get a replacement vehicle rather than having to wait for a repair. The wear and tear on your own vehicle is also spared. If you don’t need a vehicle while you’re on vacation, you could rent a one to travel from your home to your destination, return it in your destination city, and then rent another for your return trip– no need to pay for a rental if you’re just going to park it for a few days!
fabuLESS tip: Generally you can book a rental car and cancel with no obligation. As you get closer to your departure date, check the rates to see if/when they dip. Also, be sure to check rentalcarmomma.com for rental car codes for most major car rental companies.
fabuLESS tip: Check with your auto insurance provider and your credit cards to see if you have protections while driving a rental car– you might be able to waive all additional coverage provided by a rental car agency, saving you hundreds of dollars in excess, potentially redundant coverage.