With high gas prices, airfare surcharges and hotel rates climbing in 2011, you may be worried about having to skip the summer vacation this year. While you may need to take fewer trips to keep to your budget, you don’t have to sacrifice style this summer if you are a savvy shopper and know where to look. Here are five tips to get luxury travel at great value when planning your family’s summer trip:
Look for extras in the package. The Four Seasons, Kimpton Hotels and Starwood Hotels are all great family hotel brands that offer lots of free extras. Many luxury hotels offer complimentary childcare, free breakfast, or an extra night free which can add up to big savings. The Four Seasons Seattle is currently offering a “Kids in the City Package” where the second room is 50% off and includes lots of complementary extras including kids special welcome, Seattle’s only rooftop pool overlooking Puget Sound, complimentary cabanas and snacks by the pool, an in-room movie and a visit to the pastry kitchen to make a dessert.
Sign up for Members-only sites. Save 50 percent or more on luxury travel. Jetsetter has stunning photography and great deals on family-friendly hotels. FamilyGetaway.com has fun and affordable family packages. FamilyGetaway.com is currently offering a 5 night Beachfront Dominican Republic getaway package in a two bedroom luxury villa suite, with meals for just $1,700.
Like and follow your favorite travel brands on Facebook and Twitter. Savvy brands such as Starwood Hotels via @Starwoodbuzz offers exclusive deals for their followers. Other hotels offer contests and spa and dining credits promoted through their Facebook pages.
Share the cost of accommodations with another family. You can afford to ‘trade up’ on accommodations if you split the cost with another family. It’s fun for the kids to play with other kids and allows you to cook some meals from home. VRBO and Homeaway offer hip rental properties big enough to share.
Save on your food and entertainment budget. Food and entertainment expenses can kill your travel budget. Use Groupon, LivingSocial to find deals in the city you visit.
Use these tips to save on family travel and most importantly, treat any trip you take this summer as an extraordinary adventure. Do your homework. Be flexible and have fun in the sun this summer!
What is your best tip for saving money on family travel this summer?