It’s that time of year again; you’re ready to pack your bags and hit the road for fun and adventure. Travel is good for mind, body, and spirit, but it can be hard on your wallet, unless you know how to plan.

Here are a few tips that you can investigate this weekend for saving a bundle of cash on the trip of your dreams:

  1. Leave the crowds behind. Booking just a day or two shy of weekends, special events and festivals can save you bucks on hotels and airfare. Check the tourism calendar of events for your planned destination, and avoid weeks when the hotel rates and fares are at top dollar. Traveling to a summer hotspot the week after Labor Day, for example, will most likely get you a great deal. Besides, who wants to travel with the horde?
  2. Get paid to travel. Become one of Yonderbound’s Road Warriors. This hotel booking site is a little bit like Trip Advisor, except that a traveler who generates business for them through a review can actually get paid. Road Warrior bloggers weigh in on everything from airplane etiquette to budget travel deals, so check out the site, especially if you travel frequently. They also offer great hotel deals.
  3. Find some freebies. In addition to offering all types of airfare and hotel deals, the Priceline Freebies page will keep you up to date on all types of discounts or free deals at hotels around the world, from Wi-Fi, to parking, to waived resort fees.
  4. Cut the cost of car rental. Check out Just put your travel information in, and the site will help you compare the best car rental prices available to you.
  5. Go all-inclusive. Lots of hotels and resorts have all-inclusive options these days, so be sure to check into them before your book. Bundling fees for meals and lodging can save you money, especially if you are planning to have most of your meals and cocktails at your hotel.
  6. Plan ahead. When is the last time you looked at your passport? Check now to be sure it’s up to date. Don’t be caught paying last-minute fees for rush renewals. This would also be a great time to make a travel shopping and packing list. You don’t want to end up paying inflated prices for, say, sunscreen or SIM cards for your camera at a resort gift shop.
  7. Pack light; avoid fees. Airlines make a killing on baggage fees these days, so pack lightweight clothing and try to keep purchases down to things that can fit in your carryon for the trip home. Also, try to book on airlines like JetBlue or Southwest that allow you to check a bag or two for free.
  8. Call a pro. Travel agencies may add small fees to trips, but they may actually save you money. It all depends on what type of trip you have in mind. If you are considering international travel or a complicated trip, they are a must because they often have relationships with hotels, resorts and even airlines that allow them to book deals that you will never find online or be able to book as a consumer. Give companies like Professional Travel, Liberty Travel or Virtuoso (an organization of some of the best agencies) a call to see what they have to offer before you book a big trip all by yourself.

About Fierce Fridays — Tips for Weekend Well-Being

We each cherish those precious days off at the end of the week, but increasingly those of us who are charter members of the sisterhood of the stressed and overworked are losing our Saturday and Sunday leisure time to weekend work and domestic duties.

To make sure that you do something every weekend that’s just for you, we’ll be sharing a little advice to make those 48 hours a great time to recharge your batteries, bring a little good news and fun into your life, or discover a quick and easy way to improve your health.