Summer 2011 on a Budget!

Summer officially begins June 21st (first day of summer), but to some they’ve already kicked off summer fun over Memorial Day weekend. According to AAA, the tourism industry is preparing for an uncertain summer. In summer 2010, the average family spent $809 on its vacation; while AAA is predicting this year’s spending to decrease to $692. AAA’s survey also revealed that many families are expecting to tighten their belts and plan shorter trips.

With summer vacation budgets shrinking, how can you still enjoy a memorable vacation with loved ones and not worry about all of the expenses? Here are some ideas:

1.      Save money by not dining out and purchase groceries at a nearby store. A majority of our timeshare suites, if not all, offer fully equipped kitchens. Perfect for preparing meals on a budget. Also, where most of our timeshare resorts are located, guests can find weekly, local farmers’ markets that offer fresh, seasonal items at reasonable prices.

For instance, in Palm Springs, Palm Springs Tennis Club guests enjoy the Village Fest (every Thursday) with hundreds of vendors. And, Channel Island Shores guests participate in the Channel Islands Harbor Certified Farmer’s Market (every Sunday).  

2.      Entertainment can be the most expensive part of a trip. Consider planning one major entertainment event and make the other days about exploring the resort’s amenities. If planning an entertaining activity, great deals can be found online and this can save you anywhere from $10-$30 per event ticket.

For example, traveling to Aquamarine Villas or the Blue Whale in Oceanside, CA, and want to visit LegoLand and Sea Life Aquarium, view these offers. Or, visiting Magic Tree resort in Orlando and want to take advantage of Disney, Universal Studios, Epcot, and more, view these savings. Magic Tree resort team members can also assist you with local deals.

All of our resorts provide complimentary games and movies. This is an inexpensive way to connect with loved ones and still have fun. Also, some of our resorts provide complimentary bicycles and there’s no better way to cruise all the local spots. Aquamarine Villas is one example that offers no-cost bike rentals. For additional information on amenities, please visit each resort’s website.

3.      Gas prices are soaring and whether you’re driving or flying to your vacation destination, this will impact your wallets. Many online sites provide information on gas stations with the cheapest gas. You just enter the destination zip code and you’ll see local stations’ prices.

When it comes to flying, not much consumers can do about airlines’ gas prices. However, you can cut air travel expenses by packing smart to avoid any excess baggage fees. For airline ticket discounts, visit Southwest Airlines.

4.      Pinch pennies with some free day outings. All of our resort communities offer some free activity:

In Southern CA, leave the credit cards behind.

In Las Vegas, put the wallets away.

In Lake Tahoe, forget the “Benjamins.”

In Orlando, be worry-free.

Now, you can loosen those belts and breathe a little easier when vacationing in summer 2011. We look forward to seeing you soon.

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