By Jen Richer

Summer travel season is here and it’s not too late to save money on travel plans. Dave Austin, Vice President of Marketing Services at AARP, has a few tips to save everyone cash this summer – and it’s not just for seniors.

1. Plan, Plan, Plan – First, make sure it’s a trip everyone wants to take.  With any multi-generational family, it can be a challenge to find something for everyone. It helps to have a general idea of activities before you leave so you can check discounts and book ahead of time.  This saves you from over paying or finding a “sold out” sign when you arrive. Use resources like or travel services through memberships like AARP or AAA.

2. Have a Budget in Mind, and Stick to It – Plan how much you want to spend before you start packing. There are big categories like lodging, transportation and meals to include, but don’t forget about sneaky costs like souvenirs and sightseeing.  Rather than budget for a set amount for meals or entertainment and wing it when you arrive, try to research where you’d like to eat or what you’d like to see.  Doing so allows you to find discounts early and manage the final cost.

3. Think Outside the Box When it Comes to Discounts. Consider discounts you receive through group memberships, like alumni associations, service groups and Costco.  Also remember, if anyone in your family is a member of AARP, the whole family can take advantage of the discounts.

4. Go Online – If you’re booking online, do a quick search for a promo code.  Many deal sites have discounts for hotels, food, travel and transportation.  But, don’t stop there.  Take a look at the Twitter and Facebook pages of travel companies for other offers that can save you money.

5. Be Flexible – If you’re not tied to specific dates, fly on cheaper days like Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.  Also, plan your trip in the fall or spring when travel costs are lower.  Keep in mind discounts may not always come in the form of cost, but many companies will give AARP members and their loyal customers a free upgrade or gift.

Either way, the most important thing to remember when traveling with family is to make as many memories as possible.  These are the times you cherish for your entire lifetime.

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