How to Save $1,000 on Your Next Vacation
Without scrimping on fun or luxury
Skipping town for an extra-long weekend sounds like a dream, but gah, flight prices (and hotels and car rentals and museum entrance fees) are through the roof. Here, five ways to cut at least $1,000 off the cost of your trip.
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF AIRLINE MILES: $300 SAVED
We’re not advocating opening a line of credit just because. But, if you know there’s a vacation-related flight in your future, you might want to consider a new card with major mileage perks. For example: This offer from United comes with 30,000 free miles just for charging $1,000 in the first three months. Use it to pay for your groceries (and pay it off every month for $0 interest) and that’ll save you the cost of a one-way flight.
OR USE MILES ON RENTAL CARS OR HOTELS: $250 SAVED
A stay at a four-star hotel in downtown San Francisco will run you $250 dollars, but if you apply 30,000 miles (or less), you’ll get at least one night free. Same deal with the rental car: A compact vehicle that typically costs $50 to $100 a day can come at no cost if you’re willing to give up 5,000 miles per day instead. To find out the best way to apply your rewards, contact your credit card company before you hit the road.
ASK ABOUT FREE HOTEL SHUTTLES: $150 SAVED
It’s a cost we often forget to factor in: Transportation to and from the airport to your hotel. (Which can set you back as much as $75 each way.) A lot of resorts provide complimentary rides for guests, not to mention shuttles to popular attractions like local beaches or shopping destinations. Finding out your options is as simple as dialing the front desk to ask.
DON'T FORGET ABOUT COMPLIMENTARY “EXTRAS” AND PERKS: $100 SAVED
Think about it: The B&B that includes free breakfast will save you a ton over the course of a four-day trip. And the hotel that offers a free happy hour from 5 to 7 p.m. every night? At $10 to 15 a glass, that’s even more money saved.
BOOK A HOME EXCHANGE INSTEAD OF A HOTEL: $200+ SAVED
If you can be flexible with your dates and are comfortable offering up your own home to fellow travelers, HomeExchange.com makes it a cinch to swap locations and book accommodations for free. To sign up, all you have to do is list your home, then type in the destination you’re looking to visit. (We’re seriously crushing on this two-bedroom in the heart of historic Savannah.)