Money Mondays: How to get the best deal on trips

By Liz Hurley - bio | email

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - The calendar says its almost summer, but is your bank account stuck in the dead of winter?

If you doubt there will be a dime left for a vacation, WAFF 48 News has a few penny-pinching ideas on where to go and how to get there.

Do you have your bucket list, or destinations you want to visit or things you want to do before you depart, ready?

Well, this summer they might just be affordable.

If you don't have a list, we just might have a few ideas for you.

Disney World is always a popular draw, and a summer vacation to the happiest place on earth doesn't have to break the bank.

"Disney is offering 6 nights /7/days passes and you get free dining. That's August to October time frame," said Leslie Gesele with Sterling Travel.

At Universal Studios, next door to Disney, you can get five nights for the price of three, plus admission to the two parks.

Don't want to be land-locked?

The costs of cruises everywhere are sinking.

"They are offering a lot of extras some are paying for shore excursions, higher end cruise ships. Some are giving thousands of dollars in shipboard credit," said Gesele.

To reach your ports of call on a budget don't forget inside cabins are cheaper than outside cabins and fares in September and October are less than June through August.

Late summer is also a great time to travel to an all inclusive resort in the Caribbean.

Temperatures are hot and resorts will cut you a hot deal.

Don't be afraid to get on the internet and negotiate or let a travel agent do it for you.

After all, they're getting paid by the resorts to bring in business.

In fact, if you stay in the states, the same rules apply. Get on the internet and comparison shop.

If your bucket list includes Europe there's a deal for that as well.

"Monday thru Thursday is less expensive than traveling on Friday, Saturday or Sunday," said Gesele.

If money's tight and airfare is out of the question don't worry, there's plenty to do in north Alabama.

All you have to do it get out and start riding the roads.

Tuscumbia is home of Helen Keller's Ivy Green , the Alabama Music Hall of Fame and Spring Park, the 7th largest spring in the world.

"There's a great carousel there for the kids to ride..great waterfall, manmade, and a lighted exhibit at night with the springs," said Kay Smallwood with the Alabama Mountain Lakes Association.

Across the river in Florence, you'll find Alabama's only house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

You can get back to nature in Franklin County's Dismals Canyon. The name comes from the Dismalytes.

"They are an insect that light up at a certain time of the year, which is in May. They'll light up the canyon," said Smallwood.

If you're looking for extreme sports, DeKalb and Jackson counties are where you want to go.

"Zip-lining , canoeing, kayaking, extreme cave adventures at night," said Smallwood.

Plus, there's the Hallelujah trail.

"A trail of 32 historic churches and they had to be 100 years old or older," explained Smallwood.

Adults can check out the 10 wineries on the Alabama wine trail.

"There's wine and cheese. Some of the wineries actually give you a tour And let you see how the grapes are fermented and how long the process takes and they do have grape stompings where you can stomp the grapes," said Smallwood.

Good luck on finding the vacation or stay-cation that suits your budget.

WAFF 48 News has a few websites you might want to check out for find the best deal for you.

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