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Profitt Report: Book a summer vacation on a budget

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If you think vacationing is getting more expensive every year, you'd be right.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics says Americans are spending more to travel than they did a decade ago.

However, doesn't mean a summer trip is impossible if you do your homework.

"It's a great big world to see out there," said Shirley Petzold while booking a trip to Florida at Superior Travel in Frankenmuth.

Before you book that flight, you first need to consider your overall budget.

"Where is money going that are luxury items we don't need?" asked Margie Shard, CFP of Shard Financial Services, Inc.

Instead of eating at a restaurant, can you cook at home? Or maybe skip the daily latte?

If the answer is yes, Shard says it's not a bad idea to put that money into a savings account dedicated to your trip.

Let's pretend you buy a $5 latte, five days a week. If you save that money, you'll have an extra $250 by mid-July.

If Mickey Mouse is calling your name, Disney offers an online savings account where you can save money at your own pace.

The second thing to keep in mind is budgeting for the incidentals.

"Gratuities, rental cars, transfers between airport and hotel," lists travel agent John Schmitt, V.P. & Director of Sales & Marketing at Superior Travel.

Those little costs add up. If you rent a car for five days at $50 a day, check out a few museums or theme parks (tickets being roughly $50 per person), that's easily another $500.

If you can put away just $20 a week, every week until mid-July, you'll end up with $200 for your trip.

If you budget for those incidentals now, they won't surprise you later.

And last but not least, Shard advises her clients to check out Groupon.

Websites like Groupon offer big savings on everything from hotels to dinner.

If you need a little extra help, a travel agent can help cut costs.

"She saved me a nice amount of money," said Petzold after booking her flight with Superior Travel. "I can go clothes shopping now!"

A few other takeaways - make sure to sign up for travel savings alerts at websites such as hotels.com and Superior Travel.

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