The following post is from Melissa Batai
If you don’t want to take a full week of vacation, a weekend getaway can be just what you need to step back from real life and refresh. However, weekend getaways can add up financially! But, by using the right tips and tricks, they don’t have to be expensive. Nothing is more relaxing than a weekend getaway that is fun AND doesn’t cost a fortune.
One of our favorite strategies is to travel off season. After Labor Day, no one usually visits the beach, but the weather can still be nice and you don’t have to battle the crowds. Much of September is still perfect for a beach retreat, and you’ll benefit from out-of-season prices.
Use Costco Rewards
If you’re a Costco member, you can rent a car for 10% off the list price when you book through Costco’s site. Costco also offers flights and travel packages at a discount to popular tourist destinations, though most of them are for longer than a weekend away.
Use Credit Card Rewards
Our credit card offers a variety of rewards that can be used to trim the cost of a weekend getaway. There are rewards for restaurant gift cards, rental cars, and train and plane travel. In addition, many cards offer cash back. Use the cash back to fund all or part of your trip.
Use Hotel Rewards
We travel once a year from Arizona to Michigan, and in the process, we stay in hotels for five to six nights. We choose to stay at the same hotel chain, La Quinta, and we’ve signed up for their reward program. Our travel to Michigan and back nets us at least one free night to use sometime during the year on a weekend getaway.
My husband also travels for work, so when he can, he stays at La Quinta to earn more miles. Even better, his work pays for the hotel stay, but we earn the free nights.
If you travel a lot, you may want to sign up for a few different hotel companies’ rewards program because your preferred hotel may not always be available for your destination.
Use Rental Car Rewards
We typically rent from Enterprise, and I just discovered that they also have a rewards program. If you take frequent weekend getaways that are less than 400 miles, consider renting a car and reaping the rewards.
Pack Your Own Food
Packing your own food to eat en route and at your destination will cost you nothing extra. After all, you would have eaten the food if you’d been at home. If you don’t want to mess with the hassle of packing food, consider stopping by the grocery store at your destination. You’ll save a lot more money than if you went out to eat for every meal.
If you don’t mind roughing it, camping can save you some serious money. While hotels may cost $80 or more per night, camp sites often cost $30 or less. You could save at least $100 on a two night stay just by deciding to camp instead of staying at a hotel.
Weekend getaways can be a great way to break the routine of everyday life, and best of all, they don’t have to break the bank.
What is your favorite way to save when taking quick vacations?