Tips for saving money on your summer vacation

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The weather’s heating up, and lots of people are planning vacations. CBS North Carolina talked to a travel expert about how you can save money when you plan a trip.

Although you may think of flying or driving to your destination, editor in chief of Voyagereport.com, Mark Albert, says there are some big discounts if you ride the rails. Amtrak offers 50 percent off for kids 12 and younger and 15 percent off for students and seniors. Unlike airlines, Amtrak gives you two free checked bags.

If you want to visit a national park, fourth graders can get a free annual pass to any national park in the country. Members of the military and their children can also get a free pass, and seniors can get a lifetime pass for $10, but that price is expected to go up significantly in the next couple of months.

If you’re flying, Albert urges you to “book first plan second.” He says all airlines that market to the U.S. give you either 24 hours to cancel for a full refund or 24 hours to reserve at a lower price. So if you see a bargain, snap it up and cancel later if it doesn’t work. He also suggests searching for family airfare individually as well as together to find savings. It could be cheaper to buy tickets one by one. You can call the airline after you book to link itineraries.

To find more tips on cheap travel you can go to Voyagereport.com. If you want to take a course listed on the website, you can get 20 percent off by using the discount code: CBS North Carolina.

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