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Labor Day travel savings

By Jennifer Bragg, CNN producer


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The end of summer is approaching fast and everyone wants to get out and enjoy those last few days in the sun.

But if all your summer fun depleted your Labor Day travel funds, consider these ideas for road trip savings:

Lodging deals

There are still plenty of great deals to be found if you book a room now for this weekend. "But don't delay," advises Bob Deiner, president ofGetaRoom.com. "We expect hotels to raise rates right before the weekend."

Deiner's low price pick for Labor Day: Orlando. The Disney Regal Sun is offering deals as low as $55 a night.

To get the best deal on a room, check rates online first. Then, call and ask for the unpublished rate. Deiner claims, "typical savings by phone is 10 to 25% lower than the lowest online rate."

Take advantage of any discounts offered by membership groups, like AAA or AARP.

And consider coupons. They aren't just for groceries anymore!

Coupons from sites like OneTimel.com and CouponSherpa.com's CheapOStay could save you some serious cash on last minute bookings.

Smart phone apps

No matter what kind of device you use, smart phone applications can be a big, money-saving help on the road and at your final destination.

"You may have to pay for some of some of these apps," warns Mandy Walker, Senior Projects Editor for Consumer Reports, "but some of them are free. You can find attractions. You can find restaurants that are in your price range and cheap gas. They can be a great way to find better deals."

Check out apps like Yelp, Aloqua, and Urbanspoon to search for attractions and restaurants in your price range along your route.

And GasBuddy will show you where to get the best deals on nearby fuel.

Avoid ATM fees

A little advanced planning could help you to skip out-of-network ATM fees when you withdraw cash on the road.

"Ask your bank if they have a map of the ATMs in the city you will be going to," advises Mandy Walker. "That way, you can make sure you are still using their ATMs. If there aren't any of their ATMs available in the places you will be, look at the back of your card to see what network you are in."

An in-network bank may charge you a fee to use their ATM, but your bank will likely waive their fee. To top of page

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