Summer is here and people from coast to coast are making plans to travel and create everlasting memories with friends and loved ones. While quick trips to the beach or other local summer destinations are undoubtedly entertaining, there is something to be said for making plans and going on more substantial vacations.
Since most federal employees work hard all year long, it’s important to take some time off and recharge your batteries. Getting away from the hustle and bustle of your daily job can be critically important to maintaining a healthy state of mind. Just think about it – if just taking one day off has a rejuvenating effect, imagine the good that could come from taking a full week, or even more.
Just because taking a break is fun, doesn’t always mean it’s affordable. Between plane tickets, rental cars, hotels and more, going on a summer trip can really put a dent into your savings. Being able to create an affordable getaway helps you plan better and have more spending cash at your destination. Let’s take a look at six great ways to reduce your spending on these popular summertime activities.
If you are serious about getting out of town and traveling to a new, or already beloved locale, taking a flight is almost always the way to go. That is, of course, if you can afford it. Airfare isn’t always cheap, so being able to spend less on your flight due to your federal employment status is an often-utilized benefit.
Most airlines offer both federal and non-federal discounts that may not be advertised online, so contacting them directly will often yield you unexpected savings. Jet Blue, for instance, has a special program for federal employees that offers discounted rates on air travel. Several airlines will also offer you a discount if you mention that you are a veteran or active duty military. You’ll want to check with a few of your favorite airlines to see what kind of discounts they can offer.
Next to airfare, hotels can be one of the largest expenses on your domestic or international travel. On the bright side, many hotels offer discounted rates to federal employees. Many chains have the discounted rate right there on their website, but it’s advisable to call and speak to a manager who might be in a better position to give you a reduced rate.
If you enjoy spending leisurely days at theme parks like Sea World and Walt Disney World, you can more often than not find yourself paying less than you expected for your admission. An ever-increasing number of theme parks are offering federal employees deeply discounted rates. The policies will vary from park to park, but if you are unable to find the discounted rate you can always call the park.
Camping is often an appealing option for outdoor enthusiasts and for those who are being cautiously mindful of their budget. With little more than the bare necessities, you can create exciting adventures without going any further than your state park. While generally speaking, camping is an affordable leisure activity, costs can creep up if you have to spend money for your camping permit. Many campgrounds and recreational areas will give you a discount on your permit if you let them know that you are federally employed.
Unless you plan on using a taxi service for the duration of your trip, you are probably going to want to rent a car. Just about every major car rental agency will give you a special federal employee discount if you show them your government ID when picking up your rental.
Since you are on vacation, you won’t want to cook for yourself the whole time, so it’s always a good idea to go out to eat at least a few times. Most restaurants offer military and veteran discounts, but nine times out of ten you will want to remind your server that you are a federal employee to make sure that they remember to give you the appropriate discount.
Whether you have exciting and grandiose plans for this summer, or you are thinking of taking a more modest trip, be sure to look for savings around every turn. As the saying goes, “the squeaky wheel gets the grease” so be sure to speak up when you have the chance to do so. Odds are, whoever is helping you will be happy to offer you a discount, and you can enjoy your vacation without breaking the bank.