5 ways to save money on March break family travel

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March Break

Spring Break or March Break 2014 is soon here. Whether you opt for a vacation or a stay-cation March 14-31, here are some tricks to save money and still have fun.

Most Vancouver families with school age kids make travel plans of some kind over March Break. We’ve put together a list of ways to save money on March Break family travel with expert advice from RetailMeNot, the world’s largest digital coupon marketplace, and Smart Cookies, a go-to source for advice on personal finances and saving.

Without further ado:

5 ways to save money on March break family travel

1. Be a clever tourist in your own city

You’re on a stay-cation. You didn’t splurge on plane tickets or accommodation. That’s a start. Keep saving by getting in touch with our local tourist offices to find out more about free Vancouver attractions (there are many) and other deals. Also, many hotels and restaurants typically visited only by tourists offer special deals specifically for locals. You can also ask which local hotels offer a day pass to hotel amenities like the pool and spa. You may be able to enjoy a “day-vacation” on the cheap.

2. Take advantage of last minute deals

In this scenario, procrastination works in your favour. You don’t always have to book months in advance to get the best deal.  In fact, booking last minute vacation packages through online travel sites is a great way to save some cash.  Each week, many of these sites will post new deals that could inspire you to go somewhere new, while saving you a significant amount on the booking.  So, get your bags packed and start searching.

3. Max out your plastic perks

If you are traveling over Spring Break, call your credit card company and make sure you know about all of the travel perks offered on your card. If you have them, it pays to use them. Travel-geared credit cards offer perks like automatic emergency travel insurance, access to exclusive last minute booking deals, travel rewards points and cash back on travel purchased through the card. Some cards offer free checked baggage which can add up to more than $100 for a traveling family, or double rewards on flights, hotels and even gas. So, if you’re spending money over Spring Break, you should make sure you’re getting something for it!

4. Choose a short-term vacation rental over a hotel

Short-term vacation rentals have many advantages over hotels. Houses and apartments sleep more people for less money than a hotel. They allow for self-catering, so you don’t have to pony up cash on three restaurant meals a day. And lastly, they add authenticity to your travel experience giving you a vicarious look at how the locals live. Don’t forget: you can also rent out your Vancouver home while you travel and you might even break even.

5. Check for promo codes before you click

Before you make your final purchase online on anything for March Break, make sure you take two minutes and visit digital coupon marketplaces such as Retailmenot.ca to search for a promo code. You’re leaving free money on the table if you don’t.

 

Have one to add? Help out by commenting below.

 

Image: Michael 1952

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Taraneh Jerven Taraneh Jerven is a Vancouver-based travel and food writer. She contributes to travel guides including Vancouver GuestLife City Guide, and magazines such as Kinfolk. She also works on DK Eyewitness travel guides including DK Eyewitness Travel Canada and DK Eyewitness Travel Norway. She is the web editor for Kitsilano.ca. Find her travel photos on Instagram @smallfolktravel. Web: TaranehJerven.com
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