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Money saving tips for summer travel

Be flexible: If you are traveling to Florida, for example, check the prices to fly to the various airports near your destination. Flying to Tampa could be up to $200 cheaper than flying to Sarasota.

Sign up for airfare price alerts: When travelers put a 24-hour hold on a seat but decide not to book the flight, the seat suddenly becomes available. Be ready to grab it before airlines raise the price of the vacant seat. Try alerts at Airfarewatchdog.com, Bestfares.com and Farecompare.com, for example.

Consider alternative destinations: If you are looking for a beach vacation, for example, you should know that the cost of airfares to Honolulu are up an average of 12% this summer over last summer. But the cost of flying to Cancun is down 1%.

Ask for upgrades: When picking up a rental car or checking into a hotel, there is no harm in asking for a free upgrade. Often car rental companies and hotels will offer upgrades to a better room or luxury car just to win your loyalty.

Choosing the right loyalty reward programs: Try to sign up for loyalty reward credit cards that are not tied to a particular airline or hotel which can lock you into a high-price hotel or airline. Nerdwallet suggests Chase Sapphire Preferred or Barclaycard Arrival Plus cards.

 

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