Tips from Anne Banas, Executive Editor of smartertravel.com, Michael Nalepa, editor of "Fodor's Essential USA" and Chris Elliot, syndicated columnist and host of "What You Get For The Money: Vacations" on the Fine Living Network.
Before You Go:
Prices drop 20%-50% (closer to 50%) the day after Labor Day. If you have little kids and don't have to worry about missing school, wait until everyone is done vacationing to head to places like Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. They are pricy destinations, but worth it with the price cut. The weather is the same, and you'll have the place to yourself.
Travel mid-week to save. Small hotels and bed and breakfasts often charge more on the weekends and sometimes require that you stay a minimum of 2 or 3 days.
Traveling on the day of holidays isn't practical. It's been said you should travel on the fourth of July to avoid traffic, but on the 4th of July, you'll want to be with your family.
If it's a long holiday weekend, avoid traveling Thursday, when most people will be traveling. Leave on Friday. Travel Friday night or Saturday morning, when everyone will already have arrived at their destination.