If you started planning a vacation with your family, a few friends, significant other, or even by yourself, you have no doubt realized it can get expensive! A one-week rental down at the Jersey Shore can run you around $2,500. As you plan your summer getaway, here are a few tips that can help you save big, whether you’re cruising down the Garden State Parkway or flying overseas.
Timing is (almost) everything
If you have flexibility when taking time out of office, you may benefit from major cost savings. Traveling midweek is often the cheapest time to fly, both domestically and internationally. For example, departing for Europe on a Monday or Tuesday and returning on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday will save you considerable money. Weekend departures and returns are not only more expensive, but airports get more crowded, as well.
Location, location, location
It’s the cardinal rule of real estate, and it holds true for travel, too! If you have your sights set on a European vacation, now is the time. Currency exchange for the dollar against the Euro and British pound is at a five-year low and prices for flights and hotels have plummeted. Not all European destinations, however, are alike. Paris, London and Rome are some of the top European cities for Americans tourists, so they tend to be more expensive. Norway, Denmark, Sweden, and Ireland are far more affordable, especially for travelers departing from a New York hub. If you’re flying from John F. Kennedy International Airport to Oslo Airport in August, you can expect to pay as little as $591.
For something a little closer to home, visiting our neighbors up north has become quite the popular vacation destination among Americans. This is due, in part, to substantial travel savings, but there’s also a lot to do! Canada is thought of as an especially good choice for an active family; there’s hiking, beautiful scenery, and it’s generally clean and safe.
Look for deals…everywhere
With so many vacation destinations at your fingertips, finding money-saving deals is easier than ever. A recent study showed that 57% of all travel bookings are now made online, with 65% of hotel bookings made via the Internet. Here are a few examples of what awaits:
- Huffington Post published six suggestions for budget-friendly vacations, including one in Atlantic City, which is offering great deals to draw in crowds! Through July 1, the Claridge Hotel has a package for $327.95 that includes two nights’ accommodations and a 90-minute city tour (valid Thursday through Sunday). Visitors who stay at The Chelsea for two or more nights receive 15% off accommodations with a seven-day advance purchase.
- TripAdvisor recently revealed its top 10 value summer vacation destinations, along with the least expensive week to visit, highly-rated value hotels, inexpensive places to eat, and free attractions.
- Making travel arrangements online is a great way to take advantage of cost savings offered by online retailers. Sites like Groupon Getaways sell heavily discounted vacation packages, many that include airfare. When it comes to hotels, look for promotion codes to save as much as 15-20%. The hotel’s home page or “Deals” page are the best spots to find discounts.
Take a look at all airports in the Bergen County area to get the best deal. For example, you may live closer to Newark Liberty, but consider options at JFK and LaGuardia, too. You may end up saving in the long run, even if it means taking a taxi, Uber, public transit, or opting for long-term airport parking. Better yet, maximize your savings by finding a good friend or family member to drive you!
Of course, there are plenty of activities in Bergen County that make for great day trips and affordable ways to escape. You can visit the Bergen County Zoo in Van Saun Park, or Overpeck Park with its canoeing/kayaking, miles of paths and the Bergen County Equestrian Center. Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC) also offers a full slate of wonderful live shows at its Englewood theater.
Think outside the hotel
A growing trend for vacationers is trading in hotels for private homes. The lack of staff, amenities and services reduces costs, sometimes quite considerably. The rise of sites like HomeAway and Airbnb have made it easier to find properties or make a home swap. This option is especially beneficial for large families who want to stay under one roof. Plus, you can shop for groceries in local markets, saving money on restaurant tabs.
Save now for later
If a summer vacation doesn’t look like it will quite pan out this year, you can start saving for next year now. NVE’s Universal Club account features a structured savings plan created to help you save for special occasions just like this.
Need some help saving beyond just summer? NVE Bank can help with a wide range of products and services. Simply visit http://www.nvebank.com or visit one of our neighborhood branches, conveniently located throughout Bergen County, and speak with one of our Branch Associates. You can also call us at 1-866-NVE BANK (683-2265).