Affordable summer vacations possible with a few consumer tips

Published: Jun. 6, 2016 at 11:50 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 7, 2016 at 2:44 AM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Children are out of school for the summer, and it seems to be a great time to get away and go on a vacation. But those trips can often turn into pricey ones. The recent Memorial Day weekend kicked off summer travel with a bang. AAA says 2016 was the second busiest travel season in history for that holiday!

"I think that's a really strong indicator for the level of travel we're going to see throughout the summer and the rest of the year," according to Clay Ingram with AAA of Alabama.

If you are one of those who may be hitting the road for vacation, Ingram says there are things you can do before hitting the road to make that trip more affordable.

"Timing is always important," Ingram stresses. "If you are going to beach this summer, you have to understand that certain weeks are going to cost you more than other weeks. Fourth of July week or any holiday week is obviously going to be higher demand time period. So, usually the prices are going to be a little bit higher. So look for those weeks that aren't as popular where the demand is less," Ingram adds.

Ingram says to save money you should do your homework and research for any deals. He says you can even call the hotels yourself to see if they are offering specials or discounts. Ingram also suggests planning ahead. Take everything you need with you instead of buying items at your destination.

"A lot of people will take things they can cook or eat in hotel room to save a little money on some of their eating expenses," claims Ingram. "Just a lot of different things you can do to cut corners and save a little money so you can splurge on some of the things that are important to you."

Brian Jones with the Alabama Tourism Department says if you are heading to the state's beaches try to see about certain deals when it comes to how long you stay.

"Our beaches the longer you stay, typically you get a better deal," Jones admitted. "Also, our beaches have a lot of condos, and that's great for families or groups of friends."

Jones also says you can also save some green if you think outside of the box, choosing to go to not-so-common destinations.

"There's a lot of great deals on the state parks, and it's a cool alternate destination," he said.

Experts say you can always turn to travel agencies because often they know about the bargains, plus it will save you time and stress.

AAA travel agents don't charge anything to help you get something booked, and you don't even have to be a member to get that service!

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