4 ways to save on your summer vacation - HMS National, Inc.

4 ways to save on your summer vacation

June 10, 2014

If vacation home sales from last year are any indication of what's in store for this summer, 2014 will almost certainly be another bustling period for families eager to get away while the sun is shining.

According to the National Association of Realtors' latest analysis, vacation-home sales surged by nearly 30 percent in 2013, totaling 717,000 from 553,000 in 2012. In fact, these purchases comprised approximately 13 percent of all housing-related transactions in 2013, the highest share since 2006.

"Growth in the equity markets has greatly benefited high net-worth households, thereby providing the wherewithal and confidence to purchase recreational property," said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist.

He added that there's still plenty of room for growth, however, as even with the noted rise, vacation-home sales in 2013 were a fraction of what they were when the market peaked eight years ago. Vacation-homes didn't come cheaply, however, with the median price at $168,700, more than 12 percent higher than in 2012, according to NAR.

While on vacation, Americans may be looking to save anywhere they can, without having to sacrifice fun in the process. The following tips from Fox​ Business may help you rein in spending.

1. Take advantage of loyalty programs. Summer vacationers who prefer traveling over "staycations" are often rewarded through price discounts. But these are only beneficial if they're acted upon. Travel expert Nancy Schretter told Fox Business that these programs, which are usually free to join, can yield some substantial savings by lowering the price on airline tickets and/or offsetting the cost of renting a car.

2. Vacation when other aren't. As a general rule, the higher the demand, the more expensive things tend to be. This is most certainly true during the summer vacation season. If you're intent on getting away when the weather's warm, the earlier in the season you leave, the more money you'll have later on. The costliest periods tend to be during Labor Day weekend or in the middle of summer, travel experts told Fox Business.

3. Be Web savvy. At one time, a travel agents may have been your best bet to land substantial deals on vacation spending. That's not the case anymore thanks to the substantial number of discounts you can land online. Schretter said that by following a particular airline or rental car company online through Twitter or Facebook, you'll be informed of when certain sales events are happening, helping you to save time and money.

4. Be your own tour guide. Some people may want to go on a whirlwind tour of the intricate architecture of Chicago's skyline or see what the lookout is like from the top of the Empire State Building in New York City, but consumer advocate Gary Foreman indicated that vacationers can map out their own destinations by planning in advance. Searching online can help you avoid "tourist traps."

The information in these articles is intended to provide guidance on the proper maintenance and care of systems and appliances in the home. Not all of the topics mentioned are covered by our home warranty or maintenance plans. Please review your home warranty contract carefully to understand your coverage.