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Last-minute Deals

It is possible to find great deals on impromptu getaways. If you're suddenly struck with wanderlust, try these potential money-saving tips.

  • Book a travel package. Last-minute travel packages including flights, hotel and rental car can save you a bundle.
  • Cruise for vacancies. If there are available accommodations, cruise lines offer discounted tickets hours before setting sail.
  • Go off-season. Avoid the crowds and enjoy low-rate accommodations. (Many ski areas, for example, make great summer destinations. Think spas, fine dining, hiking, biking, sailing, swimming and more!)
  • Be a tourist close-to-home. Don't let out-of-towners have all the fun! Live it up locally and discover why they choose to vacation where you live.
  • Don't pay full-price. At home or on the road, discount websites such as Groupon, LivingSocial and provide savings on interesting activities and dining out.

Enjoy a SAVE-cation
Time away without breaking the bank

Summer is a fantastic time to take a few days off, enjoy the weather and have fun with family and friends. Whether planning an exciting excursion, a romantic getaway or a family-friendly trip, saving money on vacation is a lot easier than it sounds!

Establish a budget
When you set a vacation budget in advance, you're less likely to overspend. Factor in as many expenses as possible, including:

  • transportation
  • activities and entertainment
  • lodging
  • souvenirs and gifts
  • food and beverages

Also, consider leaving some of your credit cards at home. The fewer cards you carry, the less tempted you'll be to break the budget.

Book Ahead
Many airlines, hotels and cruise ships offer discounts if you make reservations several months in advance. Booking early may also give you the option to rent a private home or condo.

Explore all-inclusive vacation packages. Many are more cost effective than purchasing everything separately.

Take advantage of rewards, memberships and discount websites
Does your credit card or debit card offer rewards points? Take advantage of airline miles, hotel deals, reduced rental car rates, movie and amusement park discounts and more. Remember, when you use the card to book your travel, you'll earn more points in the process.

If you're a AAA member, carry your card and use it. Members have access to travel deals and discounts at participating restaurants, movie theaters, stores, attractions and entertainment venues.

You can also save on travel, activities and dining out through coupon purchases from discount websites such as Groupon, LivingSocial and

Start saving for your next adventure
It's easy to save when you make regular deposits over time. Determine your next vacation goal, decide how long you want to save, and open a Club or Vacation account at your bank. In most cases, no minimum balance is required and accounts do not charge monthly maintenance fees.

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This article is based on information available in June 2012. It is for general informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide specific financial, investment, tax, legal, accounting, or other advice and should not be acted or relied upon without the advice of a professional advisor. A professional advisor will recommend action based on your personal circumstances and the most recent information available.