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10 Ways to Save on Vacation Travel Plans

Looking for a cheaper way for your family to take a trip this summer? Fifth Third Bank gives parents 10 doable steps to make it an affordable getaway

Even in today's economy, it is still possible to save on travel. Families who explore multiple options in airfare, hotel and car rentals may discover lower prices than anticipated. For the savviest of travelers, there are still savings to be had. Yes: Even if you're parents with kids in tow! Here's how.

1. Search airline sites individually. More and more airlines are now offering "private" sales and reserving their best fares for their own sites. By only searching popular travel package and discount websites, you might miss out on some deals.

2. Check alternate airports. The cost savings of flying to and from a nearby, less-popular airport might be enough to offset the extra time and added ground transportation expenses.

3. Combine two separate fares rather than buying one fare. If a trip from Chicago to Tampa requires a stopover, it's worth checking to see if one round-trip ticket from Chicago to the stopover city and a separate round-trip ticket from that city to Tampa is less than booking the trip together as one flight.

4. Fly on a holiday. There is less demand for travel on a holiday. Because of that, you can often find significantly discounted airfares when flying on holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year's Eve.

5. Purchase packages. While you may have luck dealing directly with the airline, hotel, etc., you may find it cheaper to bundle them rather than purchasing each individually. Because travel providers don't have to show the cost of individual services when bundling on sites, they often offer deeper discounts.

6. Check hotel rates by night. Rates change from night to night, and it's best to look at them individually rather than settling on one rate for a multi-night stay. Shopping around and even a willingness to switch hotels during a trip can lead to big savings.

7. Be flexible on the size of your rental car. Because of supply and demand, you might be able to find a full-size car for the same price – or even less – than an economy-size model. Shop different agencies and different car types to find the best deal.

8. When purchasing travel with a credit card, use one that earns rewards. Booking hotels and car rental companies that also offer frequent-flier miles or other travel rewards can lead to significant savings.

9. Pack light. More and more carriers are charging fees for even the first checked bag. When traveling with a family, those fees can quickly add up. If traveling over the holidays, consider shipping gifts to your destination, as it could cost you less than the baggage fee and you won't have to worry about airport screening delays.

10. Look to buy tickets on Saturdays. Some of the lowest fares often appear on Saturday mornings.

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