Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Four Vacation Planning Tips to Save You Money

Whether it involves a nap on a sun-drenched beach or flying through crisp mountain air on a zip line, everyone needs a summer vacation. Stepping out of your regular routine recharges your energy like nothing else, but the hassle and expense beforehand can make it seem like more trouble than it’s worth. These easy tips will help smooth the road to your destination and save you a bundle, too.

1. Book your dream vacation in advance

Even if you can’t afford a trip to Paris or Tokyo right now, that doesn’t mean you should write off the idea. While you’re online arranging a more modest vacation for this year, book your dream trip up to 15 months or more in advance for the best rates and to avoid possible future price increases.

You would be surprised how affordable a dream trip becomes as you put a little money aside each week for over a year. Create a separate savings account  like a club account, to keep track of your vacation fund’s growth, and earmark your credit card rewards for vacation expenses. 

2. Romance the rails

Train travel is often cheaper than flying, particularly for shorter trips. Another benefit is that you see the country in a much more personal way than you would from 30,000 feet in the air. Riding the rails may be slower, but it’s truly an adventure, especially for kids. You’ll also avoid baggage fees and the hassle of airport security, plus you can use your cell phone whenever you like and the dining car serves hot meals.

3. Avoid peak vacation times

Costs vary dramatically depending on the time of year you travel. If you rent a house at New Jersey’s shore for a week in July or August, it will cost thousands of dollars more than it would after Labor Day. Tropical vacations usually are more expensive during the winter months. You’ll save big by learning what’s off-season for your destination, and making your reservations for that time.

4. Eliminate the middleman

Before making reservations through a booking site, be sure to check rates directly at websites and maybe give airlines a call, too. Some airlines don’t list with booking sites, and hotels often run unadvertised sales that you’ll never know about if you don’t contact them directly.

Before you depart

As you complete your vacation checklist and attend to last-minute details, don’t forget to notify your credit union if you’re leaving the country, so they won’t suspect fraud when foreign charges appear on your accounts. Your credit union can also be an excellent ambassador for you abroad as it helps you with money exchanges, traveler’s checks, free foreign ATM locations and emergency advice.

If you're in need of additional funding for your big trip, consider a TFCU Summer Vacation Loan. You can select the loan amount and payment term that works best for you.  It also can help pay for that modest trip this year while you start saving for that big trip next year!

Roberta Pescow, NerdWallet


  1. Thanks for the great TIP about notifying the Credit Union of upcoming vacation out of the USA. I will certainly do that this year.

  2. These are really great tips for planning vacation and saving money.This information about notifying the Credit Union of upcoming vacation out of the USA will help all to plan for vacation and save so much

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  3. these tips are useful for every tourist because in this post much knowledge for all the tourist and now i want to make plan for the US new york to indianapolis bus...

  4. My husband and I have been wanting to take a vacation to Paris for a while now, but the cost is just so high! The first tip is a great idea for us to be able to achieve our goal of getting there! I'm excited to start saving and planning our dream vacation! http://www.concordeworldtravel.com/travel_services.html

  5. Hi fellas,
    Thank you so much for this wonderful article really!
    If someone want to read more about those vacation planning I think this is the right place for you!


Thanks for your interest and comments!