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    Just because you’re saving up to buy a house doesn’t mean you have to scrimp and penny-pinch at every turn. Even more importantly? It doesn’t mean skipping that much-needed summer vacation either.

    If you’re looking to buy a house but still need a little R&R this season, there are plenty of ways to travel on a dime. It just requires planning ahead, budgeting your vacation dollars, and heeding these all-important tips:

    1. Travel somewhere you have friends or family.

    Even if you don’t spend the entire time with them, staying at a friend’s or family member’s home can save you hundreds, maybe even thousands, on hotels and lodging costs. You can even offer to contribute groceries for a few home-cooked meals. That will save you on dining costs as well.

    2. Stick to free tourist outings.

    There are tons of tourist spots that are free to visit — things like museums, national monuments, state parks, and more. You may even be able to camp at some of these parks, saving you more cash in the process.

    3. Consider a volunteer trip.

    Volunteering for a good cause can often qualify you for discounted trips (or even free ones). Habitat for Humanity, for example, offers “Travel & Build” programs that allow volunteers to visit locales all over the world while doing good for others. STA Travel offers similar programs for students.

    4. Try a budget airline.

    Flying a budget airline like Spirit, Frontier, or Allegiant can be a great way to save a few hundred dollars before you even get to your destination. If you can forgo checking a bag or bringing an extra carry-on, you can save even more on your flight. Red-eye flights are usually cheaper, too.

    5. Take advantage of the freebies.

    Does your hotel offer a morning breakfast buffet? Fill up, and be sure to take a few apples and oranges to go. They’ll serve as handy snacks as you travel. Staying at a resort? Take advantage of the free yoga classes in the morning, the free salsa lessons at night, and the free guacamole-making course in the afternoon. Keep your eyes open to any free opportunity that might come your way.

    But Remember…

    Try to keep your home-saving plan intact when traveling (or planning for upcoming travel.) Automate your savings or have a certain amount come out of each paycheck. This will allow you to meet your down payment savings goals without lots of upkeep or hassle.

    If you’re already a homeowner, remember that a cash-out refinance can help you tap your home equity for things like college tuition, medical bills, renovations and, you got it, summer vacation. Contact Embrace Home Loans today for more details.

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