STATEWIDE (WGME) – Summer vacation for many families, is the only time they can take trips together. Here’s how you can make the most of your getaway even while being on a budget.
“People are traveling, they’re going and they should, we work way too hard”.” said Mary Ellen Lessard, a travel consultant at AAA. She stated when families are focused on getting a good deal, flexibility is key.
Lessard added “Sometimes Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the less expensive days to travel, so if people are flexible we let them know that.”
Being open to different destinations helps too. Lessard said “You can go to the Dominican Republic right now if you have the passport, I mean we can send you down there for like, you know, four or five nights and you can go for under 1,000 dollars including air and all of your meals and drinks and everything.”
If you’re staying in the U.S. sometimes driving is a better option than flying. Lessard said AAA’s “Triptik” helps you map out your route and find the best gas prices along the way.
“Sometimes that’s kind of fun too, to just pack up the car and get some toys and stuff for the kids and do like a family vacation in cars.” said Lessard.
Traveling in larger groups can cut costs and there are often incentives to pay either in cash or with a credit card. She said “I have some clients that booked a trip to Alaska last year, they’re going this year in August, they used their credit card throughout the year and they’ve saved enough money to pay for their airline tickets.”
Lessard said one expense that can be worth the money is travel insurance. She added “I mean it covers for trip interruption, trip cancellation, you know, if something happens at home, an emergency, you’re getting your money back.”
Remember to do your research, read the fine print, shop around and if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. Lessard concluded “Nothing is free, so you really have to read all of the details and make sure you know what you’re paying for.”
Another way to save, look for free events in the area you’re visiting.
And remember, we live in Vacationland, so there are plenty of trips you can take right here in Maine.