Tips for Cheap Travel This Summer
Tips for Cheap Travel This Summer
Memorial Day weekend often marks the unofficial start of Summer, which means it’s time to start thinking about one of my favorite things….you guessed it…Summer travel! But how do you plan an amazing summer adventure without breaking the bank? As a travel expert, wanted to share a few of my tips and tricks to help make your summer travel more affordable.
Seek Affordable Destinations:
Travel to off the radar destinations where you can get more bang for your buck.
-Puerto Rico has been in the news a lot lately and between the economic crisis and Zika worries, there are deals to be had for savvy traveler. Puerto Rico has the exoticism of a foreign country – from rain forest treks, to the charming cobble-stone lined streets of Old San Juan and a rich cultural heritage – but with the ease of domestic travel (i.e. not having to have your passport or deal with foreign currency.)
-Ski resorts during the off-season can also provide great value for travelers, plus there are fewer crowds and unparalleled access to nature hikes and mountain biking.)
-Don’t forget about Canada (and I’m not just saying this because I’m Canadian). The US $ goes much further there. 1 Canadian dollar = 77 cents American. A trip to Montreal will give you the French flair of Europe at a fraction of the cost.
-2016 is the year to celebrate the 100th birthday of the National Park Service. This summer, enjoy one of the 409 national parks our country has to offer. There are many days of waived entrance fees, including the weekend of August 25 through 28: National Park Service’s 100th Birthday (marking the day when President Wilson signing the “Organic Act,” creating the National Park Service.)
If you’re not sure where to go, Yonder is a great app for outdoor enthusiasts that will inspire and offer some amazing places to check out. As an on-air adventure travel expert, here are some on my list:
-Hidden Lake at Glacier National Park in Montana (360-degree view of glacier-carved peaks).
-Sentinel Dome at Yosemite National Park in California (Abe Lincoln established Yosemite Valley as public land in 1864. Hike to see sweeping views of El Capitan, Half Dome, and Yosemite Falls, the highest measured waterfall in North America.)
-Sable Pass at Denali National Park in Alaska (Head out on an Alaskan style safari to spot grizzly bear, sheep, wolf, caribou and moose).
-Inspiration Point at Channel Islands National Park in California (biologists have called this North America’s Galapagos, since they contain 145 endemic species, including the rust-red harbor fox. Hike along the volcanic islands to spot blue whales and brown pelicans. Spend the day kayaking, shooting through caves and paddling through kelp beds.)
Tools To Save Money This Summer on Flights:
Flights are often the most expensive aspects of travel, but here are two of my favorite travel tools to help you save money on flights this Summer:
-Hopper.com – this app tells you best times to fly and buy. Suggests alternative airports and airlines. Hopper will tell you to “wait” or “buy” if it thinks the price will go up in the future.
-Google Flights – If your dates are flexible (cheapest to fly Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday), this is a great resource for finding affordable flights! use the map feature to explore destinations within your budget. Plug in city of origin, dates and scroll on map to see where you could fly for that price. This opens up a whole world of possibilities to cities you might not of thought of.
Free Stop Overs – Finnair launched a free stopover program similar to the Iceland Air. Passengers flying through Helsinki can opt to spend up to five days in Finland at no additional cost—on either end of their journeys.
Save Money Through Social Media – Follow your five hotel, airline, destinations through Facebook and Twitter (Cheap fares shared via @FareDealAlert @TheFlightDeal @Airfarewatchdog). They offer special deals and promotions not necessarily advertised elsewhere.
Take advantage of Hotel promotions and Rewards Clubs Perks:
For example: InterContinental Hotels Group has a new summer promotion called Share Forever. When you stay in any of their hotel properties between now and Sept. 5. – you’ll earn at least 65,000 rewards points, enough for a free night at any of their hotels around the world – we’re talking the Intercontinental, Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, among others. Plus, as part of this Share Forever program, IHG rewards club members can also earn a free night stay to gift to a friend. Travelers can save big, by becoming a member of the IHG rewards club, by taking advantage of hotel promotions and booking direct with the hotel – just go to IHG.com/forever
I’ve partnered with IHG as a on-camera travel ambassador of sorts, to spread the word about the Share Forever program this summer and was invited to join a swanky poolside event IHG Rewards Club was hosting for their members last night at InterContinental Miami. It was the first in a series of events IHG Rewards Club will host this summer to celebrate their members and the Share Forever promotion. It was a Havana-themed event with music and entertainment, cigar rolling, appetizers and mojitos…a few of my favorite things.
Save and share!