Saving You Money: How to make most of summer getaway while on budget

In this week's saving you money, CBS 13 shows how you can make the most of your getaway while being on a budget. (WGME)

Summer vacation is almost here and for many families it's the only time they can take trips together.

Mary Ellen Lessard is a travel consultant at AAA. She says when families are focused on getting a good deal flexibility is key.

"Sometimes Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the less expensive days to travel, so if people are flexible we let them know that,” Lessard said.

Being open to different destinations helps too.

“You can go to the Dominican Republic right now if you have the passport, I mean we can send you down there for like, you know, four or five nights and you can go for under $1,000, including air and all of your meals and drinks and everything,” Lessard said.

If you're staying in the U.S., sometimes driving is a better option than flying.

Lessard says AAA’s Triptik helps you map out your route and find the best gas prices along the way.

“Sometimes that's kind of fun too, to just pack up the car and get some toys and stuff for the kids and do like a family vacation in cars,” Lessard said.

Traveling in larger groups can cut costs and there are often incentives to pay either in cash or with a credit card.

“I have some clients that booked a trip to Alaska last year, they're going this year in August, they used their credit card throughout the year and they've saved enough money to pay for their airline tickets,” Lessard said.

Lessard says one expense that can be worth the money is travel insurance.

“I mean it covers for trip interruption, trip cancellation, you know, if something happens at home, an emergency, you're getting your money back,” Lessard said.

Remember to do your research, read the fine print, shop around, and if a deal seems too good to be true it probably is.

“Nothing is free, so you really have to read all of the details and make sure you know what you're paying for,” Lessard said.

Another way to save is to look for free events in the area you're visiting.

And remember we live in vacationland so there are plenty of trips you can take in Maine.

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