Get the most out of your vacation time

(NewsNation) — Nearly half of Americans don’t use all their paid vacation time. To avoid leaving those days on the table, travel expert Melanie Fish says it’s good to start planning ahead.

Fish spoke to NewsNation to offer tips and tricks for making the most of your vacation time and budget.

Break up the holiday dry spell

After President’s Day, there are no federal holidays until Memorial Day on May 29. Booking a vacation during that time is a good way to break up the daily grind.

“There’s no really naturally built-in three-day weekend for people to start planning,” Fish said.

Look for times with low rates

“That first weekend in March, I’m seeing a dip in average hotel rates. So if you’re kind of looking at the calendar window I go, that’s something to look at,” Fish said.

The first weekend in March is when hotel rates typically dip about 10 percent cheaper than average, for an average cost of $240 per night. Shifting travel dates to Saturday through Monday can also help, as those are less popular travel days.

Book airfare early

The last-minute deal is a myth. Booking at least one month out for domestic travel and up to six months out for international will save an average of 10 percent on airfare. Sundays are also the cheapest day to book, and picking a midweek departure date can also bring some savings.

Consider lower rated hotels

Two- or three-star hotels can offer many popular freebies, like parking and free breakfast, and may be surprisingly stylish. Those hotels are also more likely to be available for spontaneous trips and last-minute bookings.


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