Guide to a Summer Vacation

It’s officially summer. And by now, most of your friends, family and coworkers are probably getting excited for their summer vacations. It’s normal to plan summer vacations months in advance. But if you haven’t made plans yet, it’s not too late.

Whether you’re traveling with your friends or your family, this four-step guide can help you plan a last-minute vacation without breaking your budget.

There’s no rule that says you have to travel far for vacation. Also, you don’t have to spend an excessive amount to have a good time. Some people plan staycations and tour their local areas and take advantage of the local scenery. But if you prefer getting away this summer, there are practical ways to make it happen.

1. Groupon travel deals

I’ve been hearing wonderful things about Groupon for the past couple of years; however, I didn’t download the app to my phone until late last year — and what I found was amazing. Not only is Groupon a great place to find deals on houseware, electronics and restaurants, it’s also an excellent place to find deals on a variety of travel both internationally and domestic.

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Since learning about Groupon, I’ve booked three hotels through the site, saving up to 60 percent. This site is perfect if you want to getaway, but can’t afford to spend $100 a night on a hotel room. And if you’re looking to leave the country, there are several affordable international deals that include airfare and hotel.

2. Sell your belongings

If you look around your house, there’s probably plenty of items that you don’t use. Fortunately, there are ways to get cash for unused merchandise. Your trash can be someone else’s treasure, and whether you have old furniture, electronics or jewelry, selling these can put quick cash in your pocket.

Do you have designer handbags or valuable jewelry to unload. You can pawn these items for a loan or sell these outright and get the cash you need for vacation. The process is super easy; and consultations are free, plus there is never any obligation to sell your merchandise. After examining the item, your buyer “will determine the value of your jewelry or luxury item based on current demand,” says San Diego Jewelry Buyers. With this information, you can decide to keep your item or sell it for cash.

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3. Drive and save money

If you’re anything like me, you probably prefer flying to your destinations. It’s definitely nice to arrive somewhere in two or three hours, especially when it takes 10 or 12 hours by car. But with the current cost of airfare, flying may not be cost-effective. If you have reliable transportation, it’s certainly cheaper to get in your car and drive to your destination. You’ll save on airfare, and when you drive there’s no need to buy a rental car. The money saved can be put toward your vacation. Therefore, you might be able to afford a better hotel room, enjoy additional activities, or perhaps stay a few extra days.

4. Last-minute cruise

If you live within a short distance of a cruise port, taking a last-minute cruise might be the answer to your summer vacation dilemma. Cruise ships rarely sail with empty cabins. Therefore, they often advertise last-minute deals with savings up to 60%. Whether you want to get away for a weekend or a whole week, a last-minute cruise vacation is a practical way to have fun this summer without going broke. And the best part about a cruise is that your rate includes entertainment, food and lodging for the duration of your trip. To find these deals, visit lastminutecruises.com or cruisedeals.com.

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Don’t let the summer pass you by. Even if you haven’t made plans yet, or if you don’t have a lot of cash, there are ways to make a summer vacation happen this year.