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Red sunglasses on July Calendar

Summer may seem like a far-off land, filled with mythical games of beach volleyball and gently lapping waves, but it’s not that far away, and both of those things are totally attainable — especially if you plan your travel ahead of time in April. Get excited and get a head start with these budgeting tips for finding cheap flights, cheap hotels, and cheap summer activities.

Plan Your Summer Travels in April to… 

Land the cheapest flights.

As any savvy traveler knows, the price of plane tickets can change dramatically in just a few days. That’s why it’s so important to shop smart and strategically purchase your flights when the fares are the lowest. Of course, that’s easier said than done. When are fares lowest?

According to data from CheapAir’s 2021 survey, the best window to book travel is 21 days to 95 days in advance, with 64 days out being the optimal time to score the lowest price. In other words, if you’re trying to get a flight for late May, June, or July, buying a ticket in April might be your best bet.

One of the best ways to make sure you’re getting the lowest price is by setting fare alerts, which will let you know when fares increase and decrease. Luckily, there is no shortage of ways to do this. Set up fare alerts through your favorite booking site, and you will receive notifications when there are price drops on itineraries you’ve browsed. The more data you collect, the better!

Save on activities.

The most important part of any family vacation is the activities. With a little bit of planning and research, you can have the trip of your dreams, jam-packed with plenty of fun in the sun, entertainment, and good food.

Start by embracing all the completely free activities your destination offers! Spend the day on the beach or go hiking on a nearby trail—there are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy without putting a dent in your wallet. Many places will also have free concerts in the park, farmers markets, festivals, and other exciting events for the whole family. Take advantage of them! You can also plan out meals to make for breakfast and lunch to save money while you’re exploring.

After you’ve exhausted all the free or inexpensive options, decide if there are any museums you want to visit, tours you want to take, or restaurants you’d like to dine at that might require a little more budgeting.

Find a place to stay.

While you may be tempted to book everything at once, NerdWallet’s 2022 analysis on hotel bookings showed that reserving a room 15 days out, as opposed to four months in advance, saved travelers approximately 13% over the last three years. So instead of booking now, start assessing your options and prepare to book when prices drop.

Also, as we discussed above, it’s a good idea to research what activities you want to include in your itinerary first. By having a list of places you want to visit, you’ll know what parts of the city you’ll be spending your time in. This is valuable information that can help guide your hotel decision. Maybe all your desired destinations are in the same part of the city, and you discover you can score a cheap hotel nearby.

Like flights, the key to finding cheap hotels is comparison shopping. Travel websites can help you quickly and easily compare different hotels in your destination. However, it’s always a good idea to do your own investigation before booking. Often, you’ll discover promo codes or perks like free breakfasts to make a deal even sweeter. If you’re not pleased with any of the hotels you’re seeing, you could look for a short-term rental. This might allow you to save money on meals if it comes equipped with a kitchen.

We’re big on family fun, cheap travel, and affordable peace of mind. Choose Direct Auto Insurance and you could save on car insurance—that’s more money in your pocket for summer trips. Call, click, or come into your local Direct Auto to make the switch today! There’s no trick to getting cheap car insurance with us. We work to keep our prices low all year long!