If looking outside your window and seeing piles of snow leads you to dream about white-sand beaches and bright sunshine, you’re not alone. In fact, the winter blues puts so many people into ‘vacation mode’, the second Tuesday of January is National Shop for Travel Day!  Before you start searching for flights, hotels and travel excursions to make your dreams a reality, make sure to follow these smart travel tips below!

Track and Follow for the Best Prices

Airline prices tend to fluctuate and there are plenty of articles and recommendations that guarantee you the absolute best time to book. Fortunately, you can cut through that clutter by setting up alerts on a website like Google, Kayak or Airfare Watch Dog and get instant notifications about pricing changes for flights you have interest in.  This lets you follow prices and book when you are alerted on a price that is right for you.

Go Direct for Deals

Hotel prices and deals tend to change frequently as well, and there are tons of websites and offers to book hotels that can get confusing. Often times, calling the hotel directly and asking them for availabilities and prices lands you the best deal.  Hotels can provide you information on days where rooms are blocked off and when they are able to provide you with pricing discounts.  Some even offer incentives for booking direct!

Save Now for Vacation Spending

Many people tend to stretch our budgets when we are away on vacation, so saving some money now for a trip in the future can be a great way to avoid sticker shock on post-vacation bills. A Vacation Club account with Hudson River Financial FCU can help you prepare for travel-related expenses by putting a portion of your paycheck in a dedicated savings account, with funds available once a year for withdrawal, based on a date that you select.

Fly Mid-Week for Less

This tried-but-true travel tip still holds strong today. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are the cheapest days to travel.  For many of us, this may be difficult to plan around; however, if you can even make one part of your trip a mid-week travel day, it could save you big bucks in the long run.

Beware of Big Events

When looking for your next travel destination, search for any conferences or events happening in the area. When a city or resort has a big event locally, prices for flights, hotels, and even car rentals can increase significantly.  Be sure to make arrangements around a big event or conference to save.

Let Us Know Before You Go!

Once you’re on your way to that dreamy – and cost effective – vacation, make sure to notify your credit union or bank about your travel plans. That way, you’ll have access to your debit and/or credit cards while you travel, without any hassle!  Give us a call at 914-526-4015 to let us know about your travel plans.