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MyRatePlan Announces the Top Money-Saving Travel Tips

SEATTLE, WA -- (Marketwired) -- 07/03/14 -- Family travel can be a great way to bring a family closer, but it is also one of the most expensive activities they can do together. It's not uncommon for some families to spend an average of 7% of their yearly income on a family vacation. Fortunately, there are a lot of savings to be found this time of year on travel. According to MyRatePlan, a leading online personal finance authority, these are some of the best ways to save some money.

1. Look for travel packages. Many hotels offer a discount on airfare or a rental car when a room is booked. A lot of attractions offer discounts at partner sites and restaurants when buying tickets. To save money, however, it's important to make sure that discounts are for places or things that the family wants to use.

2. Pay attention to "points" and other loyalty programs. Everyone knows about airline miles, but not everyone bothers to learn about the gas stations, hotels, and restaurants that offer similar programs. Not all programs will save a family money, but it's usually worth taking advantage of a few. For example, a large family that has to book several hotel rooms when traveling can quickly earn free nights.

3. Borrow or rent equipment. A typical family doesn't use a tent or skis all the time. Instead of investing in a major purchase, consider borrowing or renting the stuff for a single trip. If borrowing, make sure to bring everything back in great condition.

4. Look for travel promotions outside of the typical tourist areas. Resorts in popular vacation areas cost a fortune because of the money spent on advertising. Look for ways to stay in these places without spending a fortune. For example, instead of booking a pricey beach front condo, save money by getting a discount hotel across the street.

5. Consider off-season destinations. Ski resorts in the summer time and theme parks during the school year offer deep discounts. While some parts of these attractions are closed, a family can hike nature trails or sightsee, go swimming, shop and enjoy great restaurants. Furthermore, the restaurants in off-season places tend to offer discounts to get customers to show up.

6. Consider an all-inclusive vacation. While initially very pricey, these packages can be good deals for families that like to eat, see, and do a lot on their trips. They also make it very easy to budget for a trip.

7. Travel in the middle of the week. Airlines and hotels tend to offer their best rates on these days since many people try to book long weekends and save their vacation days.

8. Look for local discounts on attractions. A lot of museums and zoos have a discount or "free" day in the middle of the week. These are usually meant to attract locals to come in on less crowded days, and many times they are not prominently advertised on the attraction's website.

9. Don't travel too far. The farther away a family travels, the more it will spend on transportation. Look for places to visit that are just a few hours drive away, and keep saving for a vacation that is farther away.

10. Pack as much as possible. Buying beach balls, clothes, towels, drinks, snacks and toys can get expensive in a vacation area. If a family is driving to the destination, it only makes sense to bring as much as possible.

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