Michigan road trips: fall travel savings

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Are you ready for the stunning yellows, bright reds, and blazing orange leaves that appear once a year in Michigan?

Fall colors are one of the best things about autumn in Michigan. And, the prices are easier on the budget if you need to travel to see the fall splendor.

"What I like about Michigan is it is more budget-friendly than some of the other popular fall color destinations in the country," said Jeanenne Tornatore, senior editor at Orbitz.com. "Those areas like Vermont and Maine, they have huge feeder markets like Boston and New York and Philadelphia which drive prices up and make availability really slim for those weekend vacationers."

Tornatore took a look at hotel rates in Michigan this fall, and she likes what she's seeing. "You will find hotel rates averaging $115 to $150 a night depending on what kind of budget lodging that you're looking for."

Saving money on road trips

Everyone knows road trips are automatically less expensive than any trips requiring air fare. This year, with gas prices much lower than 2014, it's an even better time to think about hitting the road. According to the AAA Fuel Gauge, a gallon of regular unleaded was $3.36 last year and it's down to $2.48 on Oct. 1.

If you're trying to save even more money on the hotel, "Promotion codes is probably the number way to save when you just need to book a hotel," said Tornatore.

As always, timing is everything when you travel. You might consider taking your road trip, while everyone else is stuck at work. "If you have the flexibility, travel mi-week. You're going to find prices significantly lower mid-week," said Tornatore.

If you cannot take time off during the week, don't make a critical mistake when you do hit the road.

"I wouldn't do it on the fly where you say 'Hey we might stop here. We might stop there.' I would book your accommodations and plot out your routes before you head out."

Finally, you can use a state website to find where the best fall colors are peaking. "If you really want to get some details on exactly when these different areas of the state are changing, check out Michigan.org/fall... they have a fall color map that details each week where you're going to see the height of fall colors."


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