Vacation: Get away without breaking your budget

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Summer-814679_1920The summer is here, and that means it time to go over your vacation plans. The good news is you don’t have to spend a fortune to get away from it all for a week or a weekend. 

Here are a few ways to take a frugal break from the grind: 

  • Compare prices. The rise of smartphones and other mobile devices has given birth to a range of travel apps that enable you to search for the best deals on gasoline, lodging, and other necessities. 
  • Check airlines on your own. Sites like Expedia and Travelocity simplify the process of comparing airfares, but you can sometimes find less expensive flights on airlines’ own websites. It pays to be thorough. 
  • Drive instead of flying. Depending on how far you plan to travel, driving can be less expensive. Consider that once you’ve landed, you may have to pay for car rentals or cab fares, and factor those costs into your estimate. Look for vacation destinations less than 200 miles away to make driving there more realistic. 
  • Hit the national parks. You don’t have to go to a swank resort or a high-priced tourist trap. Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, and other parks offer affordable access and breathtaking scenery. 
  • Look for alternatives to hotels and restaurants. A bed and breakfast, or a cottage rental that allows you to cook your own meals, can cut costs while affording you comforts of home. And pack your own lunches and snacks to avoid high prices at restaurants and fast-food joints.