How to Save on Last-minute Summer Travel
Want to get away—right now? Use these tips to plan the perfect summer adventure at a budget-friendly price.
Still trying to decide how to spend your summer vacation? Or maybe you found some extra time to travel and you want make the most of it? While you may not have a lot of lead time left for a big summer trip, there are still lots of ways to save even if you spontaneously pack up and head out tomorrow!
No matter where you are in your travel planning, use these tips to get the most out of your vacation time and budget.
STAY CLOSE TO HOME
- Hit the road. Search online for a nearby city or town to learn what they have to offer, and then head out on a road trip! To keep costs down, dine on a dime with NEA Click & Save’s restaurant.com certificates (read these tips for getting the most out of them), get a discounted rate on a hotel and even get discounted tickets to local attractions, shows and sporting events. Keep the road-trip mileage off your own car and book a discounted rental through one of NEA Member Benefit’s 5 car rental partners. And before you go, read these tips for putting together the right road-trip survival kit.
- Find all the freebies. Find free fun at nearby museums, which often have free days or times. Check out local parks for a jaunt through nature, find free summer concerts and browse local library art exhibits. Find even more inspirational ideas with these 100 free attractions in top U.S. cities.
- Go camping! While it’s not an extravagant vacation to an exotic beach, roughing it outdoors can bring its own kind of tranquility. Turn off your cellphone and listen to nature! Need camping equipment? Save on gear by shopping through NEA Click & Save at stores such as Cabela's and Sierra Trading Post. Not sure where to go? Read about these 3 scenic spots for a summer camping trip or find out what it means to go glamping.
- Visit a theme park. Get discounted tickets through NEA Click & save, and then read up on ways you can make the most out of every dollar while you’re there. Try one of these 7 theme parks that won’t blow your budget.
SCHEDULE A MINI VACAY
- Plan a weekend getaway. More travelers are opting for short trips for good reason. You can have a blast in a short period of time and save some of your vacation money for a later trip. Use your member benefits and get great deals on airfare, hotels and more through NEA Click & Save’s travel booking engine. You’ll earn WOWPoints that you can use on future purchases, like a new suitcase! For inspiration, check out these wallet-friendly college towns that provide plenty of adventure while school is out.
- Try a short cruise. Cruises don’t have to break the bank. Some are as short as a few days. Learn the pros and cons of short cruises, then search through your newest benefit: NEA Vacations. You’ll get special member pricing—as low as $50 per night—plus you’ll earn Travel Dollars, which you can use on most future bookings.
- Book a last-minute resort trip. If setting sail doesn’t float your boat, try a resort stay. Visit resorts within a day’s drive to keep the cost of travel to a minimum. If you go through NEA Vacations, you can try Myrtle Beach for a weekend, stay at a Lake Tahoe resort, explore New Orleans and much more, all at discounted rates. You can also save money by visiting a ski resort in the summer off season. There’s still a lot to do, and you won’t pay the high ski-package price.
GO THE DISTANCE AND FIND THE BEST DEALS FOR ANY TRIP
- Make the most of your airline booking. Learn how to master the art of earning frequent flyer miles, and then make sure you book the best day to fly. It’s also important to avoid the fee traps you’ll encounter at the airport.
- Get the best deal on a cruise. There are lots of options for cruising. Figure out the best type of cruise for you and read up on ways to make that cruise affordable. Read these insider tips and you’ll soon be cruising like a pro!
- Go all inclusive. Places such as Great Wolf Lodge, among others, make family-trip planning a snap. But don’t get caught by unexpected fees: Here’s what you need to know to make the most out of an all-inclusive trip.
- Use a travel agent. They have the connections and the know-how to get you a great deal, and sometimes extra freebies. Did you know that using a travel agent doesn’t have to cost a dime?
- Use your educator creds. In addition to your NEA travel benefits, check out these 8 little-known vacation deals for teachers. And from art museums to the Kennedy Space Center, you can get educator discounts on attractions all over the country.
- Score the best hotel rates. Use insider secrets to get the best deal. Then learn how to avoid these annoying hotel fees.
USE YOUR NEA MEMBER BENEFITS TO SAVE!
- NEA Vacations: Save on airfare, hotels, resorts, cruises and more! Plus, you can earn NEA Travel Dollars to use as partial payment on cruises, resorts, hotels and vacation packages.
- NEA Click & Save Travel: Get exclusive NEA member savings on hotels, flights, cruises and more. Earn WOWPoints that you can use anywhere on NEA Click & Save!
- Trafalgar Guided Vacations: Explore the world with your NEA member discount on adventurous trips. Choose from a variety of vacation styles to fit the way you like to travel, from multi-country Discoveries to relaxed-pace At Leisure to off-the-beaten path Hidden Journeys and unbeatable prices through Trafalgar CostSavers.
- G Adventures: NEA members get an exclusive discount on trips to more than 100 countries on all 7 continents. You’ll never see our planet the same way again. Uncover the world and travel like a local!
- Red Roof Inn: As an NEA member, you and your family can enjoy a 20% discount at any of Red Roof’s 485+ locations nationwide.
- Car Rental: Get special savings from Alamo Rent A Car, Dollar Rent A Car, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Hertz Rent a Car and National Car Rental.