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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – With gas prices soaring, weekend and vacation plans are being pinched. This week, here are a few tips to balance that getaway budget.

In the words of former Philadelphia mayor Richardson Dilworth, “It’s perfectly clear — it’s simply a matter of money.”

So, in today’s economy, if more goes out of your wallet for fuel and inflationary food prices, there’s less available for getaway activities and hotels.

Here are some ideas to offset the pain.

Instead of staying in hotels, look for condo or apartment rentals, and share them with friends and family.  Skiers do it all the time and win substantial savings.

And rentals that include cooking facilities stretch the vacation budget that much further.  Buy and prepare your own food rather than eating every meal out.

Power boaters faced with staggering fuel bills in 2008 learned to double and triple up rather than give up the cruising lifestyle.  They may have to do it again this year.

If possible move getaway plans into what are called the “shoulder” seasons, just a shrug away from the heavily traveled summer months, when prices tend to spike.  Look at the cost difference if you vacation in April or May instead of July and August.

And if you use restaurant coupon deals here at home, look them up when away. In any city with CBS Radio stations, for instance, you’ll find half-off deals simply by going to cityname.cbslocal.com.

Reported by Jay Lloyd, KYW Newsradio 1060.

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