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Plan to save cash on your summer vacation

When you're putting together your getaway, it makes sense to nail down some details ahead of time. Others can wait till you arrive at your destination.

Avoid making costly mistakes with your summer vacation.

Avoid making costly mistakes with your summer vacation. Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto/Romolo Tavani

The summer travel season is fast approaching. No doubt you're psyched about that upcoming vacay, but if your planning for the trip is done willy-nilly, you could blow your budget.

Here’s how to avoid costly mistakes.

Don’t fear budget accommodations

“There’s a huge misconception that hostels are overly crowded and dirty," says Sahara Rose, author of "Hey You, Just Go!" which shows people how to travel on a budget. "Some are, but hostels can be incredible. I have stayed in hundreds — seaside villas in Costa Rica, bungalows in Laos, and a mini castle in Montenegro,” says Rose. She suggests that travelers reads reviews carefully and not automatically rule out such accommodations.

Rethink pre-booking tours early

Many travelers think they must book everything in advance, otherwise they’ll miss out or prices will rise. “This isn't the case. Tours and activities can take a big bite out of your budget; find the best deals. Wait until you arrive in your destination,” says Rose. “With so much competition, you can find a variety of options. You may even find deals that you didn’t online. Bargain, compare prices, and ask for a discount.”

Be clear about your cellphone

Many first-time international travelers are confused about what they can and can't do with their cellphone while abroad. “Be aware of what is offered for free when traveling abroad," says Stephon Owens, CEO of Vezpuchi, a Brooklyn short-term home-trade platform for leisure travelers. "I recommend first checking whether your phone is ‘unlocked,’ which means you can easily switch the SIM card in the cellphone without having it reprogrammed,” explains Owens. You can usually buy SIM cards in the airport when you arrive, or at your destination from local cellphone vendors.    

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