Top low cost vacations
By Phil Hornshaw
Traveling gets pricey in a hurry. Careful planning is required if you’re looking to save money while away from home. Costs can get out-of-hand when you find yourself struggling to find things to do, places to stay and buy dining options on the fly. So think it through, and you can get all those things much cheaper ahead of time. Here are a few planning tips to help maximize your travel buck.
Check all the hotels
Things like plane tickets and gas prices can vary based on many factors, but hotels are often a lot less volatile and depend on things like time of year and over capacity. Start with sites like Otel.com, which will offer you 2 percent cash back along with offers on hotels in a number of locations. Don’t forget to try the well-known travel booking sites as well. Expedia and Travelocity will both net you 8 percent cash back, while Priceline gets you 10 percent until Dec. 9, 2012. Orbitz, meanwhile, just has a ton of potential options.
Get your thrills on
There are a number of wonderful theme parks around the U.S. that make for great vacations, and you can often find deals from any or all of them. Periodically, Disney Parks, Universal Studios and Six Flags offer deals on certain days or multiple-day tickets. If you can nab a season pass when one is on sale, you might be able to squeeze several vacations out of it.
Don’t forget other great attractions in different areas of the country as well. National parks often cost a whole lot less to visit and offer great, diverse experiences. By finding a deal on lodgings, you can have a great vacation without breaking the bank.
Take your time on flights
As mentioned above, you can get pretty far with the help of the well-advertised travel dealers, like Expedia, Travelocity, Priceline and Orbitz. Many of these services will also suggest that you buy immediately, or wait for ticket prices to go down. Often a little patience can go a long way. Another great way to maximize your vacation is to be flexible. This includes finding a good deal on a flight with the help of Cheap Flights or NetFlights. Those sites and others like them also provide information free and useful about what you can do when you get there. If you find something exciting in a place that’s cheap to visit, you could be on your way to a great vacation you didn’t expect.