To maximize your vacation dollars, opt for destinations where bargains are to be had any time of the year. Many areas in Puerto Rico, Mexico, Peru, the Dominican Republic and Panama can be visited for a good value. East Europe is always budget-friendly. Countries with weak economies are crying out for tourist dollars. Lastly, off-season travel to a destination is always cheaper and less crowded. Away from popular hot spots, these holiday resorts offer the same, if not more, for less.
Be a “Fare-weather” Friend
Unprecedented rivalry between airlines makes for volatile airfares. Staying on top of the changes can elicit amazing deals. Register accounts with traveler-friendly sites like travelocity.com, farecompare.com and farecast.com. They automatically run comparisons and send email alerts if prices change for your itinerary.
On an overbooked flight, you could be requested to give up your seat. If you are on a flexible schedule, this gesture will score you another free domestic round-trip, airline credits, hotel accommodations, meals, shows or tours.
Non-U.S. airlines are often friendlier for international travel. Many overseas carriers operate between U.S.A. and Europe. Websites like whichbudget.com or vayama.com are your go-to source. Within Europe, regional discount airlines are the best bet. Easyjet.com, jet4you.com and myair.com throw up astonishing fares starting at 22 euros or $28 one way.
The logistics of a journey need to be in place to eliminate any last-minute surprises. Connecticut’s CBSLocal mobile function places the latest Connecticut news, traffic, weather, events and much more at your fingertips. Get up-to-the-minute text alerts about weather in your area. This will prepare you for any of mother nature’s unexpected delays.
Airport parking is notoriously expensive, and even a week-long vacation can drill an unnecessary hole in your pocket. Parking lots on the periphery can be affordable. They offer Economy or Premier Parking, self-parking or valet options, discounts for AARP & AAA members and honor competitor’s coupons. Their shuttle buses operate to and from the airport.
110 Ella Grasso Turnpike
Windsor Locks, CT 06096
Text for Pickup (860) 471-5800
Rates: Economy $4.50-$8.95, Premier $5.50-$10.95
Bradley International Airport
Windsor Locks, CT 06096
Non-traditional accommodation options not only save a bundle, but give a deeper appreciation of the destination. Temporary living in an apartment, villa or house can make you feel like a local. For larger groups, this is a viable and enjoyable experience. Sites like homeaway.com, resortquest.com and interhomeusa.com offer a wealth of choices. For an annual fee of about $100, you can list yourself on a home-exchange site and gain access to a database of other members’ homes worldwide to arrange a swap – homeexchange.com and homelink.org. With proper care and precautions, this can be exciting and adventurous.
Heed the Call of Nature
Even with the current “pain at the pump,” it is economical to take to the road. For the price of a full tank, four to five people can travel together and have just as much fun. With an RV, travel, accommodation and food can be had for one great low price. Connecticut offers fantastic options in summer and fall. Sites like http://www.nps.gov and discoveramerica.com are chock-full of tempting domestic vacation ideas.
42 Pierce Road
Preston, CT 06365
Strawberry Park, spanning 160 acres, is the only Connecticut campground to have received a five-star rating from Woodalls for three years running. It has resort-like amenities, a wide range of activities and entertainment on site. It is located in southeastern Connecticut, just over an hour away from points in the state and just a bit further from Boston, Rhode Island and New York. On-site activities include swimming, spas, a recreation center, sports and arcade games for adults and children. Food and snacks are available at the Grill & Creamery.