If you’re feeling the pull of travel, and want to get out and see some sights, then you need to spend carefully, or the travel will dig into your savings.

We have compiled a few ideas that can help you save some money on key parts of your vacation, like airline tickets, rental cars, lodging, and food:

Airline tickets

Search in advance – sometimes weeks or months ahead – for deals on plane tickets. Consider an itinerary that includes connecting flights. They may be time-consuming, but they can sometimes save a lot of money compared to direct flights. Most airlines charge for baggage, so travel as light as you can to reduce the number of checked-in bags.

Use Rewards Points – A lot of rewards cards, like the Platinum Rewards VISA at Deseret First, provide travel rewards or rebates. One of the best values in the industry is the travel rebate available with the Deseret First Platinum Rewards VISA. And, what makes it even better, is that you can use the rebate for airfare, hotels, or rental cars.

Rental cars

Save money by picking up and returning a rental car at the same location. One-way rentals are more expensive. Rent only the size of vehicle you need. Don’t be persuaded to upgrade to a larger, pricier rental if you don’t need it. Before you return the vehicle, fill it with regular gas on your own. Decline the rental agency’s offer to fill up the car when you return it, even if the per gallon cost seems reasonable. Many rental places will charge you for a full tank of gas whether the car needs it or not.

Lodging

If you are traveling to a larger city, consider staying at a hotel in a nearby smaller city or suburb. You might save a lot of money for the same type of accommodations you would find downtown. Let a hotel chain know that you would stay at its location if it can give you a free upgrade or beat the price you found at a similar hotel nearby. A hotel would rather book a room at a reduced rate than have it sit vacant and get nothing.

Jessica shared this idea on our Facebook page: “We went (on vacation) with extended family and got two two-room suites that made it much cheaper than getting four separate rooms.”

Food

Inquire if a hotel provides a free breakfast to avoid the expense of restaurants. Consider lodgings that include kitchenettes where you can prepare you own meals. When you do go out, consider an early meal. Some restaurants have lunch specials that last until 4 p.m. These specials are often similar to, if not the same as the dinner menu, but cheaper. Buy snacks at grocery stores rather than gift shops and other “touristy” or convenience stores.

Another idea is to “buy sandwich stuff for lunches and keep it in the hotel room fridge for each day. Easy and cost-effective lunches,” suggests Carmen on the DFCU Facebook page.
Finally, have fun! If you need quick cash during your vacation, there are 5,000 CO-OP shared branches and 30,000 free CO-OP ATMs nationwide at which you can access your Deseret First Credit Union accounts.