| July 1, 2013

Save money on your summer vacation

When budgeting for your summer vacation, you will have to account for many different expenses, such as airfare, hotel and food. 

For some people, taking stock of all their travel expenses is essential to remain on track with their finances. This is likely to be a concern of many of you this year, with 80 percent of Americans expected to travel this summer, according to a survey by John Hancock. 

One of the best ways to ensure you don't overspend on your summer vacation is to find out how you can save money on your trip. 

1. Do extensive research – According to Bankrate.com, looking at one place to book your trip could be a big mistake. Doing research is essential, as you might be able to find a better deal. That being said, you should do your best to search at least two or three travel websites to find the most affordable trip. 

However, AAA spokeswoman Heather Hunter told the news source that if you see a good rate you should jump on it, as you never know if the cost of the trip will rise in the future. 

2. Enroll in loyalty programs – Much like when shopping at the grocery store, airlines and hotels have loyalty programs that can help you get a discount on airfare or hotel rooms. In certain instances you might need to apply for a credit card, but others you can sign up free of charge.

For example, Marriott spokeswoman Laurie Goldstein told Bankrate.com their reward program is free, and every dollar spent at a Marriott hotel or resort rewards you with 10 hotels points or two air miles. 

3. Signup for hotel and airline email lists – Receiving a bunch of emails each day can be obnoxious, but there are some that can be beneficial. In fact, if you are on the Marriott Rewards email list, you will get a monthly email and quarterly hard-copy newsletter, both of which include exclusive offers for members. 

Additional offers you can receive through email can help you save money on daily activities, meals and other entertainment options. Websites such as Groupon and Living Social send out emails to members on a daily basis, with some of the best offers in the area selected. 

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