Money-Saving Summer Vacation Tips from Better Business Bureau

July 22, 2014

The second half of summer is a popular time to plan spur-of-the-moment trips and getaways. However, these trips can also come with high price tags. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is urging consumers to research, plan and make sure all deals are legitimate when arranging a vacation.

“Spontaneity is great and can be fun but with it can come some problems,” says Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “Not the least of which is costs. It’s important to avoid the debt trap and that always involves even minimum planning..”

The BBB recommends the following tips to save money and prevent disappointment while traveling this summer:

  • Prepare a budget. Planning is very important, so make a budget and stick to it. Be sure to leave a little bit of room in case of an unexpected occurrence or emergency.
  • Be resourceful. Look at websites such as the area’s Chamber of Commerce. These sites often have a lot of helpful information.
  • Consider a shorter trip. You don’t have to be gone for a week to get away and have a great time, so consider a long weekend instead.
  • Avoid unnecessary costs. Be aware of additional charges or fees when traveling, such as Wi-Fi in hotel rooms and parking fees.
  • Pack your own meals whenever possible. If you’re taking a road trip, try to avoid convenience stores on the way, because they are generally higher priced. If you do go out to eat, check to see if coupons are available.
  • Choose transportation carefully. Walk from place to place whenever possible. If you’re visiting a major city, consider buses, trains or subways as an alternative to driving or taxis.

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The BBB is a non-profit, non-governmental organization.  It is supported by businesses to protect consumers against scams and other unethical business practices.  The group accomplishes this by educating both consumers and businesses, and by highlighting trustworthy businesses. By developing reports and ratings on businesses and charitable organizations, the BBB encourages people to use these as resources and referrals to utilize the free services before making a purchase or donation. The BBB helps resolve buyer/seller complaints through its alternative dispute resolution process. In 2013, the BBB provided more than 22,600,000 instances of service.  Over 80 percent of consumer complaints to the BBB were resolved. The Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois is a member of the international BBB system that services the United States, Canada and Mexico.