5 smart money-saving travel strategies

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(BPT) - As the new year unfolds, now is the time to plan weekend escapes to ensure you have a chance to reset and refresh throughout the year. As Seekenders know, every weekend is a new opportunity for adventure and spontaneity. By planning your weekend getaways early, you’ll set up key points to rejuvenate throughout the year. That’s all it takes to reset — explore, follow passions, discover new places and create lifelong memories with loved ones.

If you've been putting off traveling because you think it's too expensive, it's time for a fresh approach. These five smart tips can help you plan an amazing trip while staying on budget and tapping into your inner Seekender.

Extend the weekend

A week-long vacation is wonderful, but it also can use those vacation days up quickly. Instead, opt to extend three-day holiday weekends by one day so you get four relaxing days to reset and explore a new city. You'll only have to use one vacation day and you'll get plenty of quality time to indulge your passions.

Analyze travel modes

With low gas prices, it can make sense to drive rather than fly, especially with a family. To compare costs, check out the AAA gas calculator that allows you to estimate fuel costs to drive from various destinations across the United States. Then it's easy to compare to airline tickets and car rental costs so you can make the best decision for your travel crew.

Find a hotel with extras

When researching accommodations, select a comfortable, convenient hotel with lots of amenities. For example, Hampton by Hilton hotels offer its signature Clean and fresh Hampton bed(R), along with a free, hot breakfast served daily (or Hampton’s On the Run Breakfast Bags for those mornings you're on the move). Other extras include free Wi-Fi, coffee and a fitness center and/or pool at most locations.

Choose a two-in-one location

When researching travel destinations, consider jump-off cities nearby so you can explore two areas in one trip. For example, stay in Washington, D.C. and then head over to Baltimore's Inner Harbor. Perhaps a family vacation to Orlando includes a day trip to Daytona Beach. Or if you’re trying to please multiple family members, visit flashy Las Vegas and then head over to the Grand Canyon for an outdoor adventure.

Eat on the cheap

Eating can be the most expensive aspect of travelling. You can save by planning meals and snacks strategically. First, always take advantage of a hotel with complimentary breakfast like Hampton by Hilton. Then pack snacks like nuts and dried fruit to curb hunger throughout the day. For meals, opt for local eateries rather than restaurants that cater to tourists. You'll get authentic foods often at a lower price. Finally, picnics are great for saving cash, so head to a local market to grab sandwich and salad essentials to feed the whole group on a dime.

For more travel tips follow the conversation on social media via #Seekender and check out www.HamptonSeekender.com for some inspiration.

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