5 Last Minute Vacation Tips
July means summer vacation time and August means back to school. With August nipping at our heels, book bags are ready to replace suitcases as summer vacations start to slow down. But, there is still time to take a great summer vacation before the routine of school and work takes over. There are lots of great deals ready for the pickin’ and great fun for the whole family.
With airfare out of reach for a last minute family get away, a road trip to end the summer vacation is just the thing to make everyone happy. Why a road trip?
1. Fuel prices are much easier on the family budget than airfare and with apps like GasBuddy helps keep your budget out of the red. GasBuddy has been around since 2000 and is the most well-known gas app.
To use the app, you type in your ZIP code, and gas prices pop up for various gas stations in your area. The app includes more than 150,000 gas stations in the U.S. and Canada. The app relies on users to report prices as well as data furnished by gas stations. You can save more with their gas card – no credit check required. Save even more by shopping with GasBuddy partners.
Gas Guru shows you the gas prices in your area. Filter the info based on fuel grade, distance you’re traveling and prices. Gas Guru is owned by the Yellow Pages and receives price data from the Oil Price Information Service or OPIS, a fuel-pricing service firm. While on vacation plug in your location to find the best fuel prices.
Waze has been around since 2008 providing information on traffic and road conditions. If it is your favorite app, you already know the nearest gas stations along with prices are available for your road trip. Waze has been owned by Google since 2013. You not only get directions to gas stations but a choice of payment at participating ExxonMobil and Shell stations. Pay by phone is one option.
AAA has always been the best trip planner and the AAA TripTik Travel Planner works double duty helping you plan a trip , handle car issues like a flat tire or if you need gas! This app was once only for paid membership but now it is free for everyone.
MapQuest, yes it’s still a thing since 1996! Once our main go-to for all things road trip and directions, MapQuest mobil app can also find gas stations along your route, check prices and find the best option for your budget.
GetUpside maybe new to some of us, but for those who have been using the app they will tell you there is definitely an upside to downloading the app. Participating businesses from restaurants, grocery stores to gas companies, have savings to help you stay within budget on vacation. You submit receipts or use the Check-in feature to grab your savings with cash back through PayPal, a check or a digital gift card. Money back for gas, that sounds like a great deal.
2. AAA can help with not only planning and finding gas at a reasonable price, there are many helpful features with a AAA membership. Start your road trip with a free vehicle inspection at a AAA approved facility, discounts, road trip planning, emergency road service, lost wallet service, teens safety, bike service, RV and campers, and so much more. The AAA family-of-services offers services to help even when you’re not on vacation.
3. There are deals on hotels and other travel features. Some of the well known online sites are: Travelocity.com, Expedia.com, kayak.com, Booking.com, Hotels.com There are deals out there that are not only for hotels, but entertainment & food too and Groupon.com, is great for finding those deals.
4. RV rentals are worth checking out. If you’ve never included the idea of an RV as part of your family getaway… now’s the time. It’s is the ultimate in family togetherness. Not only for accommodations but, the journey is filled with family fun. RVshare.com and outdoorsy.com both will help you find the RV that says family fun on the road. RV’s bring a whole new meaning to road trip. Everything under one roof.
5. Try Glamping – it’s the end of the summer; add a little glamour to your camping. Enjoy the great outdoors and a little luxury too. Georgia State Parks has gamping sites and you’ll find a long list of luxury camping sites on the following online sites for accommodation around the world that range from cabins to yurts to treehouses and tents you’ll find them at Glamping.com. For a close by experience GaGlamping.com helps you find unique camp sites around the state of Georgia. GlampingHub.com takes you around the world to find your perfect spot; from resorts to campsites to safari tents.
Great road trip suggestions – New Orleans – not too far away and great scenery on the way there, and loads of fun when you arrive. Montgomery, AL is right down the road. Easy drive and filled with museums and history. Asheville – is becoming a top foodie destination and with the mountain temperature a little cooler you can enjoy hiking, biking and taking in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Savannah is a great last minute get away with history, scenery, beaches and delicious cuisine. You’ll check all the boxes for late summer fun. Sapelo Island is filled with everything you need to relax before the rush of school and work starts again. There you will find Geechee/Gullah culture, pristine beaches and time to connect with your travel buddies.
More and more families are taking their fur babies along with them. Finding pet-friendly accommodations before leaving home is key to eliminating disappointments on the road. Bringfido.com has a long list of accommodations, activities, restaurants, events that are all pet-friendly.
Wrap up summer vacation with something fun, something memorable and something that says budgets are safe. Tell us about your vacation savings. We can all save a little extra for the next vacation.