Save Money on Last Minute Summer Vacations
Whether you recently came into some money or some free time, a last-minute vacation can be a great way to close out your summer. AllyBank and travel expert Pauline Frommer have some great suggestions on how to put together a last-minute fun fling.
Getting Your Money’s Worth When Dining
“I’ve always found that, the better the view or the higher the price, the worse the food,” Frommer says. “Often, the best restaurants are the ones that aren’t in glamorous locations. When you’re sitting in that historic piazza or overlooking a canyon, you’re often paying for the view, and it’s often not worth it.”
“Sometimes the same menu you see at lunch is the one you get at dinner, but often it’ll be much cheaper, so you save by doing lunch in that great restaurant rather than dinner.”
As for tipping – whether in a restaurant or anywhere else abroad – do some research beforehand. “In certain countries you don’t need to tip; service is included and you only need to leave a little bit extra. In other countries, you do.” To find out, she recommends doing a simple Internet search (or, of course, checking out travel guides like Frommer’s and Frommers.com).
Living Like a Local
Often the most worthwhile travel experiences happen when you leave the beaten path. But how best to find hidden gems? “You simply talk to the locals,” Frommer says. “And by that, I don’t mean the concierge. Speak to people on the streets, people in the restaurants, people who look like they have the same taste as you.”
Frommer notes that the Internet can also help you find the best that local life has to offer. “There are all sorts of meet-ups for people with similar interests when you’re traveling,” she explains.
One more way to make great discoveries: Before Frommer arrives at a new destination, “I ask everyone I know, ‘Do you have a friend in that city?’” she says. “Then I go there and I invite them out to dinner. It’s the most fun part of the evening. You find out a lot about the location, you’re not alone and it’s something to do.”
How Booking Last-Minute Can Pay
You can really get some great deals if you book your hotels late in the game, according to Frommer. If you’re choosing your lodging a few weeks in advance, Frommer recommends checking out sites such as Pricelineand Hotwire for “great values by booking blind,” she says.
If you’re really flexible and don’t mind reserving your room the day of your stay, there’s a tool that can get you big savings. “There is a spectacular app called HotelTonight that gets you discounts of up to 70 percent,” Frommer says. “That’s because, that morning, the hotel knows it’s going to lose a lot of money on that room unless they sell it. So right now, the best deals on lodgings are going to the real procrastinators.”
Want more great ideas on how to save money on a last-minute vacation? Click on the link above.