TYLER (KYTX/CNN) - With summer winding down, you may think you've missed out on taking that memorable vacation this year. But, there are ways to score a great experience on a limited budget next year. Experts say now is the time to start getting organized!
"We've already started planning for next year."
Kris Kirst and her husband, John, are avid cruise-goers.
"We went to Atlantis and played with the dolphins. That was like, ultimate- ultimate, ultimate! Here's one on our first cruise to Grand Cayman. We went to Key West... Belize."
Her extensive travel resume didn't come without a lot of practice and preparation.
"Planning is key, deciding do you want three, five or seven day, deciding the dates, finding good rates."
And, you can't be shy about snagging the deals
"Don't be afraid to ask for upgrades. And, if you're a returning guest member, that's even better because you can negotiate for better rates."
Travel blogger Erin Hurson says it's also important to save throughout the year. Set up a travel fund and put money in there instead of eating out or purchasing things you don't really need. You can also set up an automatic transfer to your savings account to pay for the trip. Try a goal of 5% of your paycheck. In the meantime, be more frugal. That's what Kirst is doing now.
"You know up front. They have it on the website how much it's going to cost per person. So, you can go ahead and budget for that and put that money aside in savings."
She says you'll thank yourself later when you have extra spending money on your vacation.
When you plan a trip, look for countries where the American dollar is strong against local currency. That will help you make the most out of your spending money.