(StatePoint) Summer: six tiny letters that conjure memories of catching fireflies at dusk, barbeques, running barefoot through the sprinkler and last but not least -- vacation.
We all need time to relax and create new summertime moments, but there are a few things that every savvy traveler should keep in mind, to reach their summer paradise.
Create a Vacation Budget
Summer travel can be costly thanks to rising hotel prices and airfares that have increased six percent in the last twelve months according to AAA. However, it doesn’t have to be. Evade stress by planning your budget, driving to avoid inflated airfare, setting a daily cash allowance, and eating at local establishments rather than pricier hotel restaurants.
Whatever your plans, worrying about expenses should not be part of the itinerary.
Choose Your Destination
One of the most important decisions to make when planning summer travel is location, location, location! Your travel companions are the most important factor when choosing a destination.
Traveling with close friends? Grab your GPS, car rental and favorite music and escape to an unforgettable adventure. Hitting the road with family? Let the kids choose places to spend time like the zoo or a 3-D museum. Need alone time? Pack your hiking boots and rent a cozy rustic cabin. Don’t forget the latest bestseller!
Plan Your Route
Although you may be on vacation, your car needs to be ready for the long haul. Visit an automotive technician before a lengthy trip and always know the driving route beforehand. You can start by downloading the ExxonMobil Fuel Finder app for Android and iPhone to locate the closest of the nearly 10,000 gas stations available.
Not only do pit stops help avoid fatigue and alleviate undue stress, they can help save money. Consider taking advantage of a fuel rewards card like the ExxonMobil Smart Card. Apply for the ExxonMobil Smart Card by September 30, 2014 and get a $30 credit with the purchase of 100 gallons within the first two months of your account open date (this is subject to credit approval). Plus, you can receive ongoing savings of six cents per gallon if you purchase a minimum of 45 gallons of Exxon or Mobil fuel in a billing cycle. Savings will apply from the first gallon of fuel up to 100 gallons every qualifying cycle.
The odometer doesn’t have to be your enemy, and paying with the ExxonMobil Smart Card helps put money back in your wallet. Visit www.exxonmobilsmartcard.com or pick up an application at any Exxon or Mobil retail location to learn more.
Find Last-Minute Savings
It’s never too late to book your vacation. If you’re a spontaneous traveler, many hotels offer amazing day-of deals in an effort to fill vacancies. Check out websites like www.smartertravel.com that feature expert advice for the last-minute tourist. However, if you’re traveling during peak holiday weekends, reserve space as soon as possible to avoid sticker shock.
Rekindling memories of past summers starts with careful planning. No matter where your travels take you, vacation isn’t ultimately about the destination -- it’s about the journey.
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