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How-To: Save Money on a Vacation House This Summer

While most of us have been tightening our belts when it comes to Summer vacations, there are still ways to fit in a getaway before Labor Day arrives. Even if it's just an overnight trip, you'll still reap the benefits of getting away from it all, falling asleep to the sound of crickets or waves, and lounging on the beach for a day. Think it's out of reach? See my tips for saving money on a vacation house when you

.

  • Get a little help from your friends. If you've got a crew of friends or family who you wouldn't mind spending a weekend with, turn your romantic getaway for two into an all-out friends frenzy. Look for a large house through Vacation Rentals by Owner and then split the cost with your friends. The final price tag can be surprisingly small when it's split among several parties.
  • Try Home Exchange.  Do you own your home? Then register it with Home Exchange. Essentially, the service allows you to trade your home with that of another party. For instance, if you lived in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles, you could trade your hip home with that of someone living beachside in Capitola. No money required! It's simply a home switch-a-roo.  
  • Be flexible. Do you have a flexible work schedule, or do you work on weekends? You're much more likely to get a cheaper rate on a cottage or bed and breakfast if you travel mid-week. Make sure to ask about mid-week specials when calling to inquire about a particular vacation cottage.
  • Try roughing it. If all else fails, why not try camping? Many of our country's state and national campgrounds are located on gorgeous beaches or lakes — perfect spots for beating the heat on a hot July day. If you can't stand the thought of a tent, you could borrow a friend's pop-up camper or charming vintage trailer, and park it at an RV-approved camping site.
Anyone else have other ideas for cheap vacation homes? Share them in the comments!

 

Image Source: Getty
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