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• Aug. 21, 2019

Who doesn't love to get out of the city over the summer for some R&R and the chance to reconnect and unwind with family and friends while the weather is perfect? Booking an ideal summer cottage getaway, however, can be a stressful (and expensive) ordeal if you don't plan ahead. Especially when you consider the cost of gas, activities, and an expensive rental in a prime area.

Luckily, there's an easier way to plan an unforgettable summer cottage vacation for you and the whole family that won't break your budget.

Here are a few planning tips for a relaxing week by the lake (and ways you can earn Cash Back Dollars while enjoying the sunshine).

Expand your search for a better deal

One of the fastest ways to save money on a vacation rental is to expand your search outside of the most crowded summer destinations. Sure, you might want that luxury cabin in Muskoka, or Prince Edward Island, but so does everybody else. Getting away from the crowd could really help save money on your summer vacation rental.

Rent directly from owners

You may find some great deals by using boutique, or regional rental agencies over more popular, well-known ones. Many owners also list their properties on local sites for less, meaning you may snag some great deals when you comparison shop. Plus, when you rent directly from the source, you can get personalized advice from local owners that live in the area and know it best.

READ: When to use credit, cash and debit while travelling

Once you narrow down your destination, you could also do a quick search to see if there are any regional associations with listings to potentially avoid some of the added fees that some popular rental sites may charge for their services.

Drive just a little farther

By expanding your vacation search you could save money twice. First, with potentially better deals on less competitive rental properties, and second by earning cash back for every dollar you spend on gas using a TD Cash Back Visa* Card. With this card, eligible gas purchases earn you 1% in cash back rewards.

Prep a few meals ahead of time

Buying groceries for your summer cottage rental is not only one of the best ways to save money over going out, it's a great way to create some (delicious!) summer traditions.

Buying groceries for your vacation could also earn you 1 % in cash back rewards for every dollar you spend on eligible groceries. Plus, you get to avoid the hassle of corralling everyone to get ready and dressed before heading to town, which means more time spent relaxing at the lake with the people you care about. And isn't that what summer getaways are all about?

*Trademark of Visa International Service Association and used under license.

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