Two ways to save money as you plan summer vacation


Here we are on the eve of the unofficial kickoff of summer this Memorial Day weekend and I’ve got a couple of ways for you to save money on summer travel.

I’ve talked in the past about sites like, and as a way to get a deal if you’re looking for a rental. With site likes these, you get to rent a private home or a room in a home directly from the owner rather than renting a hotel room. This can also be a great way to supplement your income when you’re the owner of the property.

Now comes word that is offering $1 million in insurance coverage if you make your home, vacation home or a single room available for rent to travelers. That should go a long way to addressing concerns about what happens if you rent your home and the renter damages it.

Meanwhile, the way people get to their vacation destinations is evolving. More than any time in the last 45 years, people are choosing the bus. Maybe they’re fed up with security at the airports, the cost of airfare, or the hassle of driving their own vehicle. I don’t know.

What I do know is that there are a variety of cheap bus lines including MegaBus, Bolt Bus and Greyhound Express that offer travel between metro areas. Services like these were originally designed to attract the young and broke, but they’re now branching out and crossing economic and age lines. Women traveling alone are a particularly booming client base for some of these players.

MegaBus is now looking to expand its domestic routes by 50%, including moving into California and Texas.

With any of these services, there are no scary bus terminals because they pick up and drop off in metro areas where people feel safe. These are not the dirty, unreliable kind of buses you might remember from being a kid; free wifi and luxury seats are among the amenities most of them offer.

And, boy, are they cheap! My associate producer Joel, his wife and some friends are planning an upcoming trip from Atlanta to New Orleans. For a party of four travelers, they’re paying $46 roundtrip for everyone on MegaBus!

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