beach family cover photoTravel Expert Anne Taylor Hartzell, the Hip Travel Mama shares why taking shorter, more frequent trips this season can help you save money and pack more trips into 2013. 
Click here to see her tips for maximizing your food budget on vacation.

Summer is just around the corner and that means vacation planning season is here!  Whether you are looking for a last-minute spring weekend getaway, or planning a summer vacation, it could pay to break up your trips into a few smaller trips rather than one lengthy affair. Here’s why planning more frequent escapes this season can help you plan smarter, save money and pack more travel fun into your budget this year:

Short Trips Are Easier. With hectic work and family schedules, sometimes long trips are Family Vacationharder to coordinate than shorter getaways. This opens up the ability to take spontaneous trips on an open weekend when you find a great travel deal, or just need a quick escape to recharge.

Last Minute Deals Abound. Search through any last minute deals site and you will notice how many short trip packages are on sale. Travel suppliers and airlines looking to fill unsold inventory, either mid-week or on a slow weekend, will deeply discount hotel rooms and flights, allowing you to snag great last minute deals. Hip Tip: Sign up for email alerts for your favorite travel websites from your home airport to get the latest on last minute deals.

Mixing Business with Leisure Travel Pays. Headed to a new city for work? Consider adding on a couple extra days to play with your family, see the sights and save money.

Sundays and Mondays are Typically Cheaper. If you can’t take off mid-week, consider leaving on a Saturday and stay over on a Sunday and Monday night when hotel rates are typically lower than peak Friday and Saturday night rates. To save money on weekend airfare, consider departing on Saturday and returning on Tuesday.  You’ll avoid the Monday blahs and save big with this strategy.

Are you opting for shorter, more frequent trips this summer? Tell us how you are packing more trips in this year in the comments below.

Anne Taylor Hartzell, a.k.a. Hip Travel Mama, is a nationally recognized family travel expert, inspiring the #welltraveledfamily. Follow @HipTravelMama on Twitter and Like Hip Travel Mama on Facebook.