6 Summer Travel Hacks You Need to Know to Save You Money

They say that aviation, golf, and scuba diving are a few of the most expensive hobbies, but what about travel? As your travel BFFs, we know that vacationing is a hobby, and is an expensive one at that.  

In fact, it’s the nose-wrinkling cost of airfare, hotels, food, and entertainment that keep most of us from traveling more than we already do—especially in the summer. It’s no secret summer travel tugs harder at your pocketbook than, say, a trip in the fall. Because travel mamas everywhere are eager to take advantage of their kids’ summer break, you better believe traffic is much higher, and many tourist areas increase their rates to earn more moola.

And while we can’t really blame them for that, we know that you’re just like us and want to save some money every chance you get. So, we’ve got a few nuggets of advice to keep both you and your wallet happy.

1. Research free things in the area.

summer travel hacks

While there are a ton of expensive attractions to explore, you may be surprised at how many fun adventures you can find that won’t cost you any money. Exchange a trip to the zoo for a chance to do some family volunteer work in the community. It’s a great way to foster some family bonding, and it’s free!

If that’s not your cup of tea, however, and you need some help getting creative, hop on Pinterest to see what your fellow travel-loving mamas have to say.  

Look for things like free admission for:

  • Scenic hikes.
  • Festivals and concerts.
  • Historical sites.


Also, find a local family resource website (like, for example!) that posts a calendar of local events and free family-friendly things to do in the area you’re exploring. Who knows, there could even be a free movie day at the local theater or a free ice cream day at a local ice cream shop. You just never know what you’ll find available unless you do a little research!

2. Use discount apps.

summer travel hacks

Before you buy tickets to well-known attractions on your summer vacay, look for deals and steals. Apps like LivingSocial and Groupon usually offer discounts that will save you some serious money on tickets that you’d buy anyway.

For example, there are a ton of discounts for mini-golf on LivingSocial in Orlando. Take the whole family out for a bit of playful competition (and a break from the parks!), and then grab a bite to eat in town. And, in beautiful San Diego, you can enjoy discounts on well-known attractions, like a harbor cruise, by booking through Groupon.

These are just a few examples to get you thinking! Check out either (or both) of these resources to find a fun-filled adventure that’s perfect for you and your travel tribe.

3. Pack your lunches.

summer travel hacks

One of the sneakiest travel expenses can be, without a doubt, food. Think about how many times you’ve taken your mini-mes to the zoo and found yourself buying $6 hot dogs for the whole family!

And, the cost of food might be astronomically higher at amusement parks. But, most of them have a designated picnic area. So, forget that expense and prepare your lunches for a fun family picnic! Grab hold of these simple on-the-go meal hacks from our Frugal Travel Mama Megan to get you started.

Then, save eating out for when you can taste a bit of the local culture with a nice dinner in town.  

4. Pay with the right credit card.

summer travel hacks

You know that it’s inevitable you’re going to spend money during your getaway. So, why not earn rewards or cash back while you’re at it?

Many credit card companies offer a rewards program on travel expenses. Access to elite airport lounges, airport credit to use toward purchases like food and luggage, 5X rewards, and Uber credit are just a few examples.

Be sure to shop around for the travel rewards program that makes the most sense for your travel tribe. To get you started, here are the first five of U.S. News’ Top Travel Rewards Credit Cards of 2018:

  • Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
  • Platinum Card from American Express
  • Citi/AAdvantage Platinum Select Worldwide Elite Mastercard
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card
  • Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card


5. Reunite with family and friends.

summer travel hacks

Roadtripping? Use your summer vacay to reunite with extended family or friends, and rest your head at their house for a day or two on the way to your ultimate destination!

Not only are your mini-mes sure to enjoy a sleepover with their cousins, but your wallet will be happy too. Make it a quick stop or invite your generous hosts to join you in your summer thrills.

6. Go off the beaten path.

summer travel hacks

Channel your more adventurous side and explore a more remote area—away from the touristy hotspots!

Instead of hitting up popular destinations like Orlando, San Diego, or New York, head to the Smokies, Lake of the Ozarks, or the Sequoia National Park where you can stay within a conservative travel budget by avoiding tourist inflation and traffic.

Without easy ways to save money on your adventures, it can be hard to afford to take your travel-loving family on multiple trips throughouut the year. Put these money-saving hacks to practice during your summer vacation so that you can afford to break free again this fall and winter!

Love the tips shared today? Give your BFFs here at Tripbound a call at 1-888-816-5214, and we’ll get your ideal summer vacay started off on the right foot by matching you with affordable travel accommodations!   

Have a money-saving tip that we missed sharing? Let us know in the comments section below. We’d love to hear from you!

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