Travel Intel: Vacation Savings

By Liz Fleming

Great trips don’t have to involve over-the-top expenses. Plan ahead and follow our savvy tips to help make this year’s beach basking a bargain!

There are a few ways to rent a car without busting your budget. Pre-paying for your rental typically nets a lower rate; selecting a non-airport pick-up and drop-off location can, too. Consider adding an extra day or two to your schedule: A four-day booking can be more economical than shorter periods and a full week may end up offering the cheapest per-day rate. And return your vehicle with a full tank to avoid paying the rental company’s higher gas prices. AMA members also save up to 20% on car rental rates with Hertz.

Hotel brand loyalty can pay dividends; book regularly to enjoy frequent-sleeper rewards. Booking through AMA offers further incentive: Whether you’re at a fancy Fairmont or a more modest Best Western, you’ll benefit from a discount of up to 20 percent—on top of loyalty perks that you could earn, such as free parking, Wi-Fi and potential room upgrades. Plus, our Best Price Guarantee gets you the best rate—so you can sleep like a bargain-loving baby.

Is this the year for a big theme-park holiday? First, check out AMA’s multi-park and multi-day passes, which can save you money and make for a more relaxed schedule. At your destination, set a daily “treat allowance” for each child to avoid being overwhelmed by the inevitable toy and candy kiosks. See if the park offers passes to shorten your queuing time, and keep healthy snacks on hand to stave off hunger without paying for pricey park food.

5 benefits of planning your trip with AMA Travel

You may be surprised just how far your travel dollars will sail on a cruise vacation—if you time things right and take advantage of onboard package deals. Choose a shoulder season like fall and early winter, or April and May, and you’ll save on most cruise ships. Shore excursions can add a lot to your cruise costs, so selecting a cruise line that offers at least one freebie per port might be your best choice, even if the initial price of the cruise seems higher. A few other tips to consider onboard: Many ships charge for bottled water; bring your own refillable bottle instead. And be sure to check the price of onboard internet. The service can be both expensive and slow, so write your messages in a text editor before logging on, then quickly paste them into your email and send.

AMA Cruise Specialists are experts at matching your preferences and budget to the right ship and the right trip. Find a Cruise Specialist at or call 1-866-989-6594.