Creative ideas to keep summer travel costs down

Here’s how to vacation on the cheap, saving money on everything from food to attractions to hotel rooms.
 
The Willoughbys may be a two income household, but the parents are school teachers, which means no pay during the summer.
 
Candy Willoughby, her husband and 8-year-old daughter have sailed on a Disney Cruise, traveled to New York City and vacationed at an Orlando resort thanks to some of the tools she uses to keep travel costs down.
 
Travel tip number one: Check social deals
 
The family saved $225 on a double-decker bus tour just by searching group and social deals online.
 
Travel tip number two: Search coupon codes for local restaurants
 
The Willoughbys search for coupon codes in the city they are in and say they frequently pay $10 for $20 to $30 worth of food.
 
Travel tip number three: Travel in the off season
 
Candy Willoughby said she saved big -- $1,200 – by moving a Disney cruise from March to May.
 
Travel tip number four: Buy tickets at wholesale clubs
 
If you are headed to a popular attraction, check out Sam’s Club or Costco and their websites. The Willoughbys use Costco for movie tickets and save a few dollars on Disney tickets by buying through AAA.
 
Travel tip number five: Bargain with travel websites
 
Search airfares and hotel room costs and offer less than half the price on Priceline and similar sites.
 
Bonus tip: Rent vacation homes directly. Websites like Vacation Rental by Owner cut out the leasing companies and can save you hundreds per stay.

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