Dad and three kids standing next to each other on the beach, their backs facing the camera.

Save Big on Your Next Vacation with Technology & Pre-Planning

By Madalyn Pemberton, America Saves Intern

Still hoping to get in a family vacation before the kids go back to school but aren’t sure if it’s affordable at this point? Check out these tips on how to save on vacation to help you get the break that you and your family deserve without taking on additional financial stress.

Let algorithms do the money-saving work for you

Thanks to many creative techies out in the world, there are a multitude of apps to help with every aspect of a vacation. While Military Saves does not endorse any service or product, this list of 50 new apps in 2017 by Travel and Leisure is worth a look for money-saving options, with ones for flying, dining, lodging, and more!

Fill up your stomachs without draining your funds

  • Bring along your own snacks to last throughout the trip so that those few dollars here and there don’t end up preventing you from enjoying a particular excursion due to budget restrictions. Additionally, you can pack basic groceries and make a few simple meals if your accommodations have a kitchen.
  • While vacation is a great time to enjoy nicer restaurants, not every meal has to be delivered by a waiter or waitress deserving of a tip. Grab some sandwiches from a deli and head to a picnic-friendly spot outside.
  • When you do eat out, look around for coupons first. Websites, such as entertainment.com, where you can buy coupon books for your destination, and coupondivas.com, where you can find kids-eat-free programs, are quick, easy, and extremely budget friendly!

Try a new type of vacation

Satisfy your adventurous side while still sleeping in your own bed

Perfect for those who live in a large and/or historically rich city, a staycation gives you the opportunity to do all of those things around town that have been on your list for years. Set aside a portion of the money you would have spent on travel and hotels, and instead splurge on local attractions, day trips, and restaurants that don’t fit into your usual routine. Have a family discussion and vote on the places you want to visit, create a budget for each excursion, and get to it!

Break away from the typical tourist trends in Europe

If you’re looking to travel internationally without breaking the bank, consider visiting Iceland. The country is an appealing option given the low cost of airfare and for being off the beaten path of European travel. Visiting during the summer allows you to take advantage of the “warm” months, with average highs around 57 degrees Fahrenheit. Take a look at this travel guide for tips on how to best explore Iceland.

Keep your costs low while flying high

  • Consider flying into a “hub.” Each airline has one where the majority of their flights arrive and depart. The multitude of flights means lower prices for you. If your final destination isn’t a hub, you’ll still save big by flying there first and then grabbing a connecting flight to your destination. Check out the full list of hubs here.
  • Look at airline sites directly, as some don’t allow booking sites to aggregate their pricing. Check out domestic budget airlines such as JetBlue, Spirit Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and Virgin America.

Special Discounts for Military Families

  • Check with your installation’s Leisure & Travel office for discounted tickets on amusements parks, all-inclusive resorts, vacation planning, and travel assistance.
  • Visit your installation’s Outdoor Recreation Center for inexpensive camping and equipment rentals and information on local outdoor activities.
  • Space-A travel lets military service members, their families, and service retirees fill seats on Air Force air transport flights. Find more info here.
  • Calling hotels directly guarantees the most accurate information, and also may alert you to deals not listed online. Always inquire about a military discount!
  • Museums and zoos offer discounts to military families ranging from 20 percent off to completely free entry. More information may be found here or check out Blue Star Families.

With a little technology and investing your own time into planning, you could save big on your next family vacation. Take the Military Saves Pledge today and go!


Want to treat the family to a getaway but not sure if it'll fit within your budget? Vacation #savingstips here >> http://bit.ly/2tmAcFT 

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