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Quiz: Saving for Summer Travel Can Be Easy

An affordable summer trip is possible if you keep these planning strategies in mind

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Saving money for a vacation needs to start in the planning phase.
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Summer travel season is almost upon us. While summer travel is expected to be busy, there are ways for 50-plus travelers to mitigate their costs. Do you know how to save on upcoming travel?

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Question 1 of 7

When is the best time frame to book most international flights?

For lower fares to most international destinations, book three to six months before departure. Book one to two months from departure for domestic destinations.

Question 2 of 7 

Which part of the trip often has the most flexible cancellation policies?

Hotels tend to have more flexible cancellation policies, which are often up to 24 hours in advance. Don’t be tempted by discounts for nonrefundable reservations. Most major domestic carriers provide credits for cancellations without penalty except on some of their cheapest fares.

Question 3 of 7

When popular destinations are too expensive, what destinations should you consider?

To avoid the high prices – and the crowds – look elsewhere. “I always encourage travelers to think off the beaten path,” says Hayley Berg, lead economist for Hopper. It’s unlikely a deal will be available in a different neighborhood in the same city.

Question 4 of 7

True or false: When you have travel insurance you can cancel your trip for any reason.

Travel insurance can help reduce the financial risks, but standard policies can be invoked only for a covered reason, such as a death in the family, loss of a job or other major event. A Cancel for Any Reason upgrade may cover changing your mind about traveling, but it’s expensive and you will often recover only half to three-quarters of the purchase.

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Question 5 of 7

How can you know the true cost of a vacation?

If considering a package deal, be aware of what’s included in the sticker price when comparing options. For example, summer cruises to Alaska start at less than $100 a day per person. But most bargain cruises do not include expenses such as alcohol or Wi-Fi. Additionally, shore excursions are priced à la carte. Add the price of any desired extras into the cost of the trip to determine the real bottom line.

Question 6 of 7

What services can help you track prices of travel bookings?

It can pay to track travel plans to see whether rates fall. If your plans have flexible cancellation terms, you can rebook at a lower price. Travelers can manually check Kayak and Google or use an automated monitoring service such as HotelSlash for hotel reservations.

Question 7 of 7

What is one way to economically splurge on a vacation?

Even penny-pinchers want to add little luxuries to vacations. Websites and apps like Resort Pass, Daycation and DayPass can help travelers access pool day passes at expensive hotels for as little as $25 a day.

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