Summer is right around the corner and not all of us are the best at saving or planning for that special getaway. Luckily, we live in the RGV and that vacation you have needed can be just a few hundred miles away. From fancy hotels, to camping outdoors you can choose your destination and not worry too much about going completely broke. But if you do decide to travel outside of Texas, these tips will also help you save so you won’t starve when you return.

Screen-Shot-2016-05-26-at-2.12.17-PM1. Road trip it. Let’s face it, traveling via air is not the cheapest way to travel, plus during the summer, getting through security can be a hassle. Find a destination that is not too far and you can save hundreds of dollars by driving to your choice of leisure. Texas is one of the largest states in our country, you would only imagine that there are 100’s of spots to choose from when it comes to fun and relaxation. Take for instance the Texas Hill Country, it is only about a six hour drive from the RGV and once you get there, you will not want to return. Personally, Fredericksburg is a fave of mine. There is so much to do, and the scenery is like something out of a magazine.  They have nice quaint cottages that you can rent out right along the creeks, and restaurants all over town. Did I mention the wineries? Wow, those wineries will bring home some of your favorite memories. Wine Road 290 stretches about 30 miles and is home to more than 15 wineries. Even if you’ve had enough of Texas, traveling by car might take you an extra day to get there, but the savings can be well worth the drive. Besides, you can take stops to different cities along the way  and make the best of it.

Wine Road290 stretches about 30 miles and is home to more than 15 wineries #texas #summer16 #roadtrip #winery Share on X

Screen-Shot-2016-05-26-at-2.14.31-PM2. Search for the best deal. When making hotel reservations, using websites such as Kayak, Priceline, or Trivago can help you save money. Reading the reviews usually is a good idea in that this can help you get a better feel for the place. The “name your own price tool” can be risky, but most of the time it is a great hotel, depending on the number of stars you choose. Also, the Express Deal option is super useful, you can save up to 50%, it’s similar to name your own price in that you don’t know what hotel you will get. You can also use these websites for flights and rental cars. They usually also have a “Vacations” tab where you can plan an all in one getaway. If you see something you like, do some research on the place, search the Internet or ask around. Another idea for lodging can be to stay in a “room” or “apartment” for rent, these trends are very popular and you can find such things on Airbnb or VRBO for some great prices. It can sound intimidating, but just do your homework and you are sure to find something to your liking.

Screen-Shot-2016-05-26-at-2.16.06-PM3. Planning ahead is key. Save some money along the way, place whatever you can aside on a weekly and put it where you WILL NOT touch it not matter what. If you are flying and are able, book your days during the week, the weekends tend to be a bit pricier since that’s when most of us tend to travel. If you can book your flights at least 1-2 months in advance, this will help in how much you are spending. Also, nobody likes it, but taking the early bird can save you some substantial money. Try not to travel during high season, maybe do an early August trip rather than a mid-June. If traveling by car, make sure the vehicle is in good condition before taking off, get it inspected thoroughly to help avoid any mishaps such as issues with tires and such. In both traveling instances, taking some snacks along the ride will deter you from stopping at the shops for drinks and chips that can run you about $6-$10 a stop.

Screen-Shot-2016-05-26-at-2.19.12-PM4. Groupon, Groupon, Groupon. When you have decided where you will be heading to, using sites such as Groupon can help you save on those special and fun activities that you want to take part in. They have all sorts of savings, just search for the particular city, and you will have such a wide variety of options at your fingertips. Again, do your research on the establishment to just make sure that your purchase is worth it.

When we think of taking that vacation, the first thing that usually pops in our minds is “how am I going to be able to afford that”? Don’t worry so much, saving up along the way and taking some of these useful tips will help ease your mind. You will be surprised as to how much you will save. Be safe and enjoy the ride.