Are you planning to take a vacation this summer? If so, you’re not alone since 94% of Americans will be taking some sort of vacation this year. The average amount spent on a 2013 vacation is expected to be around $1,200. Wow – that quite the chunk of change!
Regardless of how big or small your vacation budget is this year, I’ve got some tips to help you stretch it to the max!
Saving on Airfare
1. Use free fare alert websites like AirfareWatchdog.com  and CheapAir.com . Just enter your destination and dates of travel and they will send you an e-mail when ticket prices drop. I recently saved $150 on a ticket using Airfare Watchdog!
2. Some airlines also use Twitter and Facebook to let their followers know about limited-time fare sales. For example, Jet Blue tweets out last-minute fare deals from @JetBlueCheeps  every Tuesday, and Virgin America and Spirit Airlines also share fare alerts on Twitter.
Saving on Hotel Reservations and Rental Cars
3. Once your flight is booked, search online for deals before booking a hotel, car and other accommodations. Savings.com currently has some great exclusive hotel offers:
–$30 off Qualifying Hotel Booking of $375 or more through Travelocity  using the coupon code SAVINGS30
–$40 off Vacation Packages of $1500 or more through Travelocity  using the coupon code SAVINGS40
–5% off Hotel Bookings through Orbitz  using the coupon code ORBITZSAVE5
–$100 off Qualifying Flight + Hotel Package of $2500 or More through Orbitz  using the coupon code ORBITZTRIP100
4. Don’t forget that there are also lots of ways to save before you ever leave on your trip! If you’re planning to buy new vacation accessories, be sure to search online for a coupon before heading to the store. Savings.com currently has great deals on luggage and bathing suits.
–Save 30% off at Ebags.com  using the coupon code ONLTELLPT2
–Save 25% off orders of $99 or More on Swimspot.com  using the coupon code SAVINGS
5. Use mobile apps to search for local deals in your vacation destination. The Valpak mobile app  is one of my favorites – it offers deals on family-friendly activities such as museums, aquariums, baseball games, mini golf and more. They also have some fantastic restaurant coupons and, it’s integrated with iOS Passbook and Microsoft Wallet so that you can easily add and organize coupons.
Dine In, Not Out
6. Consider meal planning based on your family’s favorite foods in advance of your trip and visit the grocery store upon arriving to avoid dining out every night.
7. Pack on the go snacks to keep tummies satisfied during long outings. It will help prevent you from having to shell out the cash for expensive amusement park treats.
8. If you do dine out after you arrive, try searching for a coupon with the Valpak mobile app so that you don’t pay full price for a meal.
Don’t Underestimate a Staycation
10. Don’t forget, there are also lots of ways to enjoy time with your family locally – a staycation can be fun and affordable. Check out my post on How to Plan a Staycation  for my favorite tips!
9. Still having trouble saving? Tweet using the hashtag #HelpMeSave and the name of your vacation destination, and @ValpakCoupons and @Savings will check to see if they have any deals available there. If they do, they’ll share a link to a coupon code to jump-start your saving efforts!