With the summer months coming once more, families are reminded that vacation time is around the corner. This can cause a certain amount of anxiety: with the kids demanding time at amusement parks and spouses looking for time away, how can the frugal traveler appease everyone on a tight budget?
While points and miles can take us a long way, they aren’t necessarily a complete solution. Credit cards may not be the whole answer, either: some cash back credit cards offer a low comparable value compared to points and miles, while cards that offer flexible points towards travel experiences (like the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard) are limited in their rewards after the first year.
Just in time for the warmer months, the U.S. Travel Association is bringing back one of my favorite annual promotions that encourages frugal travelers to go out and see the world. Starting April 9, 2018, Daily Getaways is coming back for five weeks, marking the travel industry’s biggest sale.
The deals are not just limited to hotels and experiences. This year, The U.S. Travel Association is partnering with amusement parts, Las Vegas resorts and even car rental companies for five weeks of deals that may save you up to 70 percent on your travel experiences.
The first two weeks of sales have already been posted to the Daily Getaways website, with much more to come over the month of April and the first week of May. Here are some of the deals I’m most excited about, along with some that may not give you the best deals.
Buy: Universal Express Ticket
If you live on the West Coast and want to see the fun Universal Studios has to offer, this ticket might be the right one for you. At a 30 percent savings, the Universal Express ticket is not only one day’s admission, but one-time express access to every ride and attraction at the park. When the lines get long in the summer, you’ll appreciate the fast pass to get the front quickly.
Buy: Omni Hotels and Resorts Packages
Omni Hotels and Resorts are some of the nicest hotels in the world. However, using points and miles aren’t always the easiest way to get a room there. With two-night packages starting at $160, this certificate offers a frugal opportunity to get an incredible hotel room at a low price.
Avoid: The Las Vegas packages
Although I have zero shame defending my appreciation for Las Vegas, some of these packages are strictly for high rollers. With some in four figures for a suite, show and dinner, there are plenty of ways you can still live the high life without paying big bucks for it. Some of my favorite ways to get Vegas deals are through the Fine Hotels and Resorts program (available to those who have The Platinum Card from American Express) and MyVegas points from playing Facebook games.
Avoid: Avis Presidents Club (and other car rental programs)
Unless you plan on renting a lot of cars this summer with Avis, buying loyalty status with an airline doesn’t offer a lot of value. Even so, renting those cars should get you status pretty quickly – which will ultimately get you access to better cars and bigger upgrades. If you really want status, consider getting the right premium credit card. The Platinum Card from American Express offers elite status with several car rental companies, while those who have the Chase United Club Card can get status with Avis.
Be sure to check out the website every week, because even better deals are coming in the future weeks. Deals you’ll want to watch out for include free night certificates for Loews hotels and multi-day amusement park passes. Don’t sleep on these deals: all of them have a limited quantity, so buy quick and begin planning your vacations afterward!
Which deals are you on the lookout for this summer? Let me know what you want to do for a low price in the comments below!
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