[-- Read Time: 2 mins --]

With the summer rapidly approaching, it’s time to start planning your next getaway. Here are some tips on how to save money while booking your vacation online:

1. Take advantage of airline reward programs
Some airlines allow you to earn points whenever you travel with them. Once you have enough points, they can be redeemed for a free flight. The catch is that you have to pay the taxes and fees yourself and the points may have an expiration date.

2. Sign up for mailing lists and airfare alerts
Be the first to know about sales on airfare and vacation packages. If there is a particular destination you have in mind, set up airfare alerts with various travel sites.

3. Look for package deals and coupon codes
Save money by booking your flight and hotel together and if you can afford it, go all-inclusive. This will cover your hotel and all food costs while you enjoy your stay. Some travel sites even offer coupon codes redeemable for discounts if you book your trip for a suggested length of time.

4. Travel during off peak times
Red eye flights and weekday travel dates usually go for a cheaper rate.

5. Be mindful of baggage fees
Although the airfare be cheap, it may not include baggage fees. Try to travel with one checked bag if possible because most airlines charge increasing rates for each checked bag. Another thing to keep in mind is the weight of your bags. Check with your airline to learn the weight limits of your carry-on and checked bags. Bags over the weight limit are punished with a fee!

6. Pay in advance for car rentals
If you plan to rent a car, you may save up to 15% or more by paying in advance instead of paying at the counter. A lot of rental companies also offer discount codes so look around before making your reservation.