By Dorothy Tucker

CHICAGO (CBS) — It’s that time of year. We’re all dreaming about summer vacation. But those trips can really drain your wallet, especially when you’re taking your kids, like the Wrights are.

The suburban couple has a daughter who’s celebrating a birthday in June, so they’re planning a trip to the Wisconsin Dells to celebrate.

CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker showed the Wrights ways to save on their vacation. They are tips that could help you save too.

It’s a child’s dream: non-stop fun at the center of the water park universe, the Wisconsin Dells.

“It’s fun, because I get to go on all these different kinds of water slides,” Tierney Wright said. She has been to the Dells before, and wants to go back for her 11th birthday on June 7.

“The Dells is expensive, so we are on the hunt for a deal,” her father, Marcus Wright, said.

The best way to find any vacation deal is to go directly to the local source; in this case, the Wisconsin Dells Visitor & Convention Bureau.

“We have the most current and detailed information available, and I would say that goes for any city and any state,” said Romy Snyder, executive director of the Wisconsin Dells Visitor & Convention Bureau.

Their website includes a link devoted to the latest vacation packages. They also have a free magazine you can order that is full of information, and comes with a free Dells Card that offers discounts to numerous attractions. Visitors can also sign up for an weekly email that comes out every Wednesday.

“Some hotels maybe have large inventory on a Wednesday, that they’re looking to fill for the weekend, so they may put a deal out there,” Snyder said.

One of those email deals offered the perfect package for the Wrights’ budget. It included a two-night stay at the Atlantis, a free breakfast worth $40, a free pizza worth $10, free popcorn, $5 worth of game room coupons, and four free passes to the Chula Vista Resort water park for three days.

In all, the deal cost the Wrights $261. Without the package deal, the same trip would have cost them $463. That’s a savings of $202.

Plus, when they get to Wisconsin, the first place the Wrights should stop is the visitors’ bureau to pick up a free coupon book. Most tourism centers around the country offer coupon books.

You also want to check out the local tourism website at your summer destination to get the latest information on free concerts, festivals and other special events going on the area.

With their vacation savings, the Wrights are up to $2,570 in savings through the help they’ve received during the “Survive This Economy” series.

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