Although we’ve just reached February, it’s never too early to start planning your next vacation. Holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, or just because are perfect excuses to take some time to get away and cash in some quality rest and relaxation. The economic climate may be grim, but it has not and should not stop people from taking some personal time to have some fun. You may think you can’t afford it, but vacations can be more frugal than you think if you take these tips on how to save money on your vacation. Check out these resources:

Timing is Everything

Timing is essential when it comes to planning and going on your vacation. You can save a great deal by making your bookings months ahead of time. You may also get lucky with discounts and sales on your accommodations for last minute trips. Also consider where you plan on traveling to. Will you be going during peak touring season? Any way you can travel during off-peak time?

Be Flexible

Thinking about traveling just about anywhere? If you’re not married to any particular location, you can look on different websites for great deals. Sites like Groupon Getaways and Living Social Escapes have amazing deals for trips, resorts, and flights. You can get a steal for some place you may not have otherwise visited. Chances are they have a destination you’ve been dying to go to at a price you’d be dying to get your hands on. Although those deals are only available for a limited time, and time is of the essence to buy quickly, be sure you read the fine print, including travel by dates.

Coupons on Food and Entertainment

You probably don’t plan on staying in your hotel room the entire time, unless it’s an amazing suite and your main plan is to sleep and vegetate. You’re going to want to dine out and maybe go on a tour, see some sights, and have some fun. If you’re going to a place that’s known for its attractions, there’s a good chance the owners of the establishments can mark up prices to increase their profit. Instead, buy an Entertainment Book for the area, where you can find deals on dining, shopping, movie tickets. There’s even a mobile app and a digital membership for the more enthusiastic traveler.

Choose Your Payments Wisely

When booking your vacation accommodations, you’ll more than likely have to use a debit or credit card. If you have a card that offers rewards or cash back, you should consider using it for your payment. As for money when you’re on vacation, cash will be your best option to stay on budget and avoid as many fees as possible.

Learn How to Pack

One expense that people forget to factor in is the cost of their luggage. No, not just buying the pieces, but actually taking pieces of luggage can increase the cost of your vacation. With baggage fees separate from airfare, it pays (or saves) to pack light. Only pack the things you absolutely need, including enough clothes for the days you’re gone and toiletries. Fold your clothes neatly and find a bag just small enough to fit the things you need. If all of your things will fit in a carry-on bag, that works to your advantage.

What are your tips for saving on vacation?