5 Tips to Save on Summer Vacations

Summer vacation should be a time for no worries and unlimited fun in an exciting destination away from home. But if you don’t shop around carefully, you may find yourself tossing and turning in your hotel bed all night over money. That can really take the fun out of your summer vacation and make you wish that you had chosen another place.

Here are 5 tips to save on summer vacations:

1. Take advantage of travel rewards:

Reward credit cards are a great way to save money on travel costs. Many of them offer one-time bonuses to new account holders after they have spent a certain amount of money in the first few months. For example, Air Canada offers a bonus of 40,000 points after you have spent $1,000 in the first three months of your American Express®AeroplanPlus®* Platinum Card membership. Additionally, you will also be awarded 1.25 points for every $1 in card purchases. According to their current plan, 25,000 points are enough to buy you a roundtrip seat in economy class within Canada or the USA. So, plan ahead and apply for the credit card of your choice four months before your vacation.

2. Use an international credit card with no foreign transaction fees:

When using regular credit cards internationally, foreign transactions fees can add up significantly to your travel costs. According to a study by Card Hub, just over 90% of credit cards in circulation charge 3% fees for transactions processed overseas. So, make sure to use only international credit cards that have no foreign transaction fees.

3. Choose a less popular destination:

You don’t have to go where the crowd is going to enjoy your vacation. There are many fantastic destinations that are less popular, but no less fun and exciting. Because of the smaller crowds, the hotel, foods and entertainment will be cheaper and you will also likely get the flight tickets a lot cheaper.

4. Drive rather than fly:

If you are going somewhere you can drive to, then drive rather than fly. Air tickets are expensive and driving can easily beat the costs of air tickets if there are two or more of you. In fact, you can make the entire vacation about driving. There are many scenic routes in Canada where you can enjoy driving, such as the Cabot Trail in Nova Scotia, Sea-to-Highway in British Columbia, Icefields Parkway in Alberta and Yonge Street in Ontario, at 1,896 km, the longest street in the world.

5. Opt for a Staycation:

Is money really an issue this summer? Then have a staycation. Plan some family activities, read the books you have always wanted to read, watch the shows you have always wanted to watch, go cycling, hiking and picnicking, go shopping at the local stores, indulge in your hobbies, and act like you are on vacation. If you plan well, staying at home can be fun and also save you a lot of money.

Picture by George Valellis

By Shondell Varcianna

July 24, 2015