Spending a ton of money on a summer vacation may be out of the question with school around the corner and schedules becoming busier. But if you plan it right, one last summer fling won’t break the bank. Here are a few tips that will make your summer trip a little less taxing.

  1. Budget. Know how much you can spend and stick to it.
  2. Plan early. Choose your destination ahead of time so that you can find the best deals. Typically, the earlier you make your travel purchases, the better your rates will be. You may also want to keep in mind travel-related taxes that are often tacked on to airline tickets, hotels, and rental cars. Places like New York City charge three taxes just on hotel rooms, so it’s important to plan and price accordingly. Lady Liberty made a visit to the Statue of Liberty earlier this year and had a blast.
  3. Or search for last-minute deals. Check out sites such as Groupon that has all-inclusive trips at steep discounts, or Priceline that allows you to name your own price for hotels and flights.
  4. Pack light to avoid baggage fees at the airport and save room for goodies you may bring back.
  5. Set a daily allowance. Opt for meaningful activities, such as city or museum tours, that stretch your dollars. For meals, skip the tourist spots and eat at local restaurants that are less pricey.
  6. Lay off the souvenirs. Not everyone you know needs a refrigerator magnet or a keychain or a Christmas ornament.

If your budget won’t allow you to get away, go for a “staycation.” There are lots of things to do in most communities, and often, we miss the local stuff because we’re headed out of town. Remember, you don’t have to go far to have fun.

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