Summer vacation is rarely cheap. Flights, hotels and other costs are higher for the simple reason that it’s high season and more people are traveling in the summer.
My family can’t get around that because our daughter is still in school, and summer is the longest stretch of time off she has.
To deal with the high travel costs of summer, we’re again doing something we started doing a year ago — paying for our summer vacation six months ahead of time. I’m all for spontaneity and picking a vacation spot at the last minute if I can find a deal, but our choice is decided six months early because of a huge savings that makes planning so early imperative: free housing.
As I wrote last year, we saved $4,000 by doing a home exchange in Europe through HomeExchange, a website that allows members to swap homes. It was a wonderful trip and the home exchange allowed us to save money on what can add up to the most expensive part of a trip after airfare. Continue reading