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5 ways to save up to $50 on your upcoming summer vacation

/ Source: TODAY

For a lot of people, summer is about trips to amusement parks, beaches and other popular vacation spots. But hotel rooms and car rentals can be costly, even with special offers and promotions. Travel expert Emily Kaufman visited TODAY Thursday to share her best tips for saving money — and according to her, it's all a numbers game. Numbers such as:


Use travel websites such as Orbitz, Expedia and Travelocity to package airfare and hotel fees together and save 15 percent on your purchase.


Headed to a theme park? Stay at a hotel that offers complimentary transportation to the park: You'll save yourself $20. (But if you do end up driving, snap a photo of your car before entering the park. It'll help jog your memory of where you left it once the day is done.)

30 minutes

According to the Attractions and Amusement Parks Association, wait times for rides can run from five to 60 minutes. So: Pre-purchase your theme park tickets and save about half an hour you'd otherwise spend waiting in line.

43 minutes

Renting a car? According to the National Rental Car Satisfaction Survey, 43.2 minutes is the average amount of time that people who aren't in a loyalty program waste signing up for programs on the spot. Register for membership ahead of time to avoid lines and sign-ups at the terminal. It's free to sign up, and a shuttle bus will even drop you off right at your car!


Scout out hotels that offer complimentary breakfasts! A family of four will save roughly $50 by doing that (or stocking the mini fridge with muffins, cereal, milk, juice and fruit).