Hiking along beach

With Summer Solstice behind us, it’s officially time to take that summer vacation! Certainly, road trips and staycations are wonderful options. However, there is nothing like the thrill of a vacation that involves a plane ride. Regardless of what kind of adventure you plan to enjoy, here are some top tips to help you keep it budget friendly.

1. Shop flights – Many airlines offer low air fares during the summer month to ensure full flights. Check around directly with individual airlines to see what’s available. Compare those rates with Priceline, TripAdvisor and Hotwire to see just how low they can go.

         Super saver tip Look for tickets on the weekend. Your very best bet is to purchase in advance by 21 days, but if you can’t                  make that happen check for the greatest deals on Saturdays and Sundays.

2. Carry on – Once you’ve purchased your tickets, plan ahead to limit bags to carry on only. This frees you up from many lines,          as well as avoiding baggage fees. And let’s be honest – almost everyone over packs! If you need new carry on luggage, these                  coupons will help you save on overall costs AND shipping.

 Packing like a pro – packing like a proIf one bag feels too intimidating, check out these tips for .

3.  Act like a local – Some people feel safer and more confident staying in hotels. If that’s you, then be sure to scour around for       coupons, discounts and deals on your room(s).  If you are willing though, we highly recommend staying in a house or condo                via sites such as VRBO or AirBnB. Not only can you find great deals on amazing places, but you save money by having access to a full kitchen. Plus, you may even get to ask some residents where they go to eat and play – most likely getting the inside scoop on cheaper options than those geared toward tourists.

  Super saver tip – Research ahead of time to find all the free options possible for your area. Summer is bursting with free                  concerts, activities and tours for families.

4. Create a budget for the trip – We can practically hear you groaning. Isn’t a vacation an opportunity to get away from budgets and spreadsheets and such? The answer is no. Not if you want to stay on track. Decide in advance how much you plan to spend on this trip and then start making decisions on what you will do. If you do it the other way around, you are likely to almost double the spending based on impulse decisions and reactions.

5. Embrace technology – Finally, use available apps to help you with all of these steps.