Tips to Save Money on Vacation
Matrix Direct Newsletter - May 2011
Well, Happy Summer...and Savings! Tips to Save Money on Vacation
For many, the sluggish economy and rocketing gas prices are casting a gloomy shadow over the prospect of a vacation this summer. But take heart! Matrix Direct has gathered some money-saving ideas to help you make the most of vacation time.
Creative Ways to Vacation
Taking a vacation doesn't require spending lavish amounts of money. Vacations are about relaxation, spending time with family and friends, and enjoying favorite hobbies and recreation. Here are some ideas to help you relax for less.
Staycations. Stay-at-home vacations, or "staycations" continue to be extremely popular.
- Join the "Great American Backyard Campout" through the National Wildlife Federation. On Saturday, June 25, people nationwide will camp overnight in their backyards, neighborhoods, parks -- even their balconies!
- Be a tourist at home and save big time! Visit Smart Destinations and check out the "Go Cards" and "Explorer Cards" for 14 major cities. You can purchase a one- to seven-day pass to all sorts of attractions, tours and museums for one low price. The cards include discounts for dining and shopping too. (Tip: Costco often carries them.)
- Another way to be an at-home tourist is with an Entertainment book. Often sold for fundraisers, Entertainment books feature dozens of discount coupons for dining, travel, entertainment and more.
Volunteer Vacations. Also known as "voluntourism," a vacation combined with volunteer service can be a great way to enjoy a vacation, and a sense of doing good! Many national parks, camps, resorts and other special destinations need volunteers. Programs are located here and abroad. They vary in what they offer, and range from one week to all summer. Two resources to consider are www.coolworks.com/volunteer/ and www.voluntourism.org/
Family and Adult Camps. Camp isn't just for kids. There are plenty of affordable family camps and camps that accept adults nationwide. Some include meals and activities, and many focus on particular interests. Two helpful directories are www.campchannel.com and http://kidscamps.com/family_camps/family_camps.html
Yurts, Tree houses, Railroad Cars and More. If you want to think outside-the-box of a hotel or motel, check out the unusual lodgings at Odd Inns and Accommodations. Some of these opportunities are not only delightfully odd, but affordable too!
Last-Minute Getaways. For spontaneous, affordable "let's get out of town" junkets, try Last Minute at http://us.lastminute.com/. Not sure what you want to do? No problem. They offer ideas such as "Sun and Beach," "Romance," and "Under $250."
Taking time off to relax is important for an enriched quality of life. At Matrix Direct, we're committed to help you enjoy life more. We specialize in affordable term life insurance, which is all about peace of mind. And with us, it's also all about saving money...up to 70 percent! If you have a policy with us, are considering one, or are curious if we can save you even more, please give us a call anytime. It's free, and you will not experience any sales pressure. It's our goal to provide you helpful information and save you money -- which can perhaps help you take a vacation!
Traveling Tips: Save and Enjoy More
Looking for some simple ways to save money on travel? Here are some tips.
Air Travel: Fly High on Savings
- Look for the least expensive days to fly.
- Airlines have added a "peak travel day fee" to popular travel days and holidays.
- Consider flights with connections. Nonstop flights often have a pricey surcharge.
- If you are traveling with multiple people, try pricing the tickets separately.
- Many airlines are adding "fuel surcharges" to offset the rising cost of fuel. Some of these can be costly, especially overseas.
- Good news if you're Hawaii bound. www.airtech.com is a consolidator that specializes in low-price, fully reserved tickets -- even at the last minute.
- Some airlines provide a refund voucher for future travel if the fare drops after you purchase. (Note: Some will deduct a reissue fee.)
Hotel Happiness: Lodging for Less
- Interested in an affordable adventure? Go back to school! Many colleges and universities rent dorm rooms for daily and weekly stays during the summer break. They can range from $20 up per night, and often have a kitchen or kitchen privileges. Contact the campus you want and inquire if they rent to individuals.
- Think hostels are for students traveling on a shoestring? Not so! Hostels cater to all age groups. These days, they're more like budget hotels. Many have private rooms with private baths, and free WIFI.
- Monasteries often welcome overnight visitors for affordable prices. Simply search online for a monastery where you'd like to stay. (Be sure to ask about their policies. For example, some have curfews and observe periods of silence.)
- Another option is to stay at a retreat where they hold spiritual, religious and conference gatherings. Many retreats allow individuals to stay, and they often include meals.
Pet Projects: Traveling with Animal Friends
If you're not traveling by plane (which adds expense and other considerations), why not take your four-legged friend(s) along? In recent years, pet traveling has become more common -- and welcome. You'll save on pet sitting or boarding, and have fun too. Here are some tips.
- Three resources for pet-friendly lodgings and travel tips are Travel Pets http://travelpets.com, Pets Welcome http://www.petswelcome.com and Trips with Pets http://www.tripswithpets.com
- Create a temporary I.D. tag for your pet's collar. Put your cell phone number on it and/or the number where you are staying. ? Be sure to bring some of your pet's favorite items (e.g., toys and blankets) to ensure comfort.
- Pack plenty of food. Don't count on your type of food being available where you go. Many pets are sensitive to having their food switched suddenly.
- Not all pets are comfortable traveling, so make sure your pet won't suffer from motion sickness, anxiety, or the worsening of a physical or medical condition. Talk to your vet about traveling, and ask for a copy of the medical records.
Saving at the Pump
With gas prices making headlines again, Matrix Direct rounded up these ways to save.
- We might not be able to make gas go down, but we can help you find the most affordable in town. Visit www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/gasprices/states/index.shtml for prices nationwide. This can help you in planning your drive.
- Drive carefully and watch your speed.
- Stay tuned! Keeping your car in tip-top shape is also key to saving money.
Whatever summer holds in store for you, we hope you enjoy peace of mind. If you have been delaying getting term life insurance, aren't sure if you have the proper coverage, or are wondering if you are paying too much, give us a call. One simple, free consultation can do wonders for your peace of mind. There is no cost, no hassle, and no hype. Just the information you need, and perhaps savings up to 70 percent!