Stretching Your Dollar

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COLUMBIA - In this tough economy, people are tightening their belts, but it's the perfect time to get out of town, enjoy a break from work, school, and daily responsibility. High gas prices, expensive airfare and not finding the right place to stay could put a damper on your summer vacation with the family.

Luckily we're here to help save you some money while avoiding a travel agent's fees.

Travelling can cost a lot of money. For many families, putting that dream summer vacation to your kids' favorite destinations could be pricier than you think.

If you're looking for an easy fix to your travel woes keep in mind it's all about the timing.

For example, booking a hotel at the last minute can save you some money. If a hotel is not completely booked, the hotel will most likely drop its rate. It's better to have some business at a cheaper price than no business at all.
In these last minute situations, the internet can be your friend. Websites like or provide easy, cheap offers from hotels, to flights to even car rentals and activities. Some sites like Hotwire and Priceline let you place bids on hotel rooms. It may sound like a lot but it could save you anywhere from fifty dollars per night to one hundred, or even more.

While waiting to the last minute can save you some dough on some things--for others, it's better to plan ahead. Looking for Groupons, ad sheets, and other coupons for vacation ideas and activities can help you save big.

A final tip? Avoid the convenience. You can save money by packing your car with snacks and drinks ahead of time.

Buying food at gas stations or a mini-mart will only slow down your travel time and cost you more.

If you have any tips of your own that you'd like to share, feel free to comment here or on our facebook page.