Summer is the perfect time to get away with your family and spend quality time together. As an alternative to shelling out big bucks for a weeklong vacation, taking off for a few weekend trips will allow you to enjoy different experiences throughout the year while creating lasting memories for less. Tacking on an additional day to the weekend is also smart as it provides extra time for travel. That way your whole group of family and friends can truly enjoy the destination and feel more refreshed.
With some flexibility and thoughtful planning, you can save big bucks on even the smallest trips. Vrbo curated a list of six tips for saving money on your next weekend getaway.
Avoid holiday weekends
Traveling over peak weekends like the Fourth of July and Labor Day isn’t just busier, it’s more expensive too. Everything from airfare to car rentals costs more during popular holidays, so you’re better off avoiding the crowds and cutting costs by planning your trip for less popular weekends.
Choose a close-by destination
It’s no secret that airfare spikes during the summer, especially over the weekend. Not only will choosing a destination you can drive to save you money, but you’ll also avoid potential airport delays and long security lines. Check AAA’s Fuel Calculator to estimate your fuel use, and tap into the GasBuddy app to find the cheapest gas prices along your route.
Rent a vacation home
Hotels aren’t your only accommodations option — renting a home gives you double the space for half the cost with a lot more privacy too. Vrbo offers over a million rental homes worldwide, so you can always find a place that meets your needs and budget. Plus Vrbo offers a Book with Confidence Guarantee™ and 24/7 customer service, so you get the protection and assurance hotels offer while saving money.
Stay off the beaten path
If you’re planning your vacation around a popular destination, expand your search to stays further away from popular attractions in the area. Not only will this save money, but your group can also explore a new neighborhood and have the chance to live like a true local.
Prepare your own meals
Eating out for every meal will take a huge bite out of your travel budget. Renting a home through Vrbo gives your group access to a kitchen where you can prepare your own meals and therefore save money. Get creative by hosting a backyard barbecue or clambake to cut costs without cutting the fun.
Bring your pets along
Pet owners often overlook the additional costs that come with hiring a sitter or boarding their furry friends while they’re away, but this extra expense adds up quickly. Since your dog or cat is more like a family member, bring them along with you! Vrbo offers many comfortable rental homes that allow pets. Select “pet-friendly” in the search criteria and review the many options available at your desired destination to find the perfect home away from home with your best friend.
Plan activities in advance
While you don’t want to jam pack your weekend schedule with too many activities and come home more tired than relaxed, winging it can also backfire. Going away without a plan can cause your group to waste time trying to decide what to do and see. Some tour companies will even offer discounts to travelers who pre-book online.
Get the most of your getaway by planning things to do in advance. Speak directly with the vacation rental homeowner who’ll be happy to provide you with recommendations in the area.