The Definitive Guide to Saving on Summer Travel

By Craig Donofrio

NEW YORK (MoneyTalksNews)—Love to travel but hate to spend money? These tips can save money all year round on every stage of your trip, whether you're traveling overseas or staying closer to home.

TripAdvisor says 86 percent of Americans are planning leisure travel this summer, up 7 percent from last year. Yes, Americans love to travel. After months of seemingly endless work, nothing sounds better than an uninhibited vacation spree.

And that can put a huge dent in your savings.

The solution: Travel smarter. Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson has some cash-saving advice for vacationers in the video below. Check it out, then read on for more ways to have a fantastic and cheap getaway.

Now, let's get you out of the house and on an affordable vacation with these 15 tips:

Finding the best price

1. Friend social media

For example, "flyfrom" accounts on Twitter post airline deals for designated cities. Check out the list> here. Follow your preferred airlines on Facebook and Twitter and look for deals there. Search Twitter hashtags (for example, #JetBlue). You can also sign up for weekend getaways and last-minute deals at airline websites.

2. Use flight alerts

Sign up for alerts at websites like airfarewatchdog and get an email when a flight to your destination city drops in price. OK with booking close to when you depart? Check out last-minute deals at Expedia and Priceline.

3. Set sail at the right time

When it comes to cruising, the best deals are generally had either very early or last minute, which in this business can be a month out. Another good time to go: when ticket prices sink thanks to problems like the "poop cruise." You might also try repositioning cruises; many cruise lines relocate ships a few times a year, depending on the season, and offer deals.