Are you planning big trips this year? Here are some easy ways to save.
- Many people are making big travel plans this year.
- By scheduling plans ahead of time and using credit cards strategically, you can scrape by.
The summer of 2021 was initially hailed as the summer of recovery on the COVID-19 front. Cases were down, vaccination rates were up, and people were finally making plans after months of social distancing.
Then the delta variant arrived, and it changed many people’s travel plans. But this year, many people hope that things will be different. While COVID-19 is still circulating, the CDC has relaxed its guidelines in the wake of the rise in omicron. Now, Americans may be more likely to book the trip they’ve had to put off for two years.
If you expect to travel a lot this year, the only thing that could hold you back is money. Travel has become expensive, and with gas prices skyrocketing, even road trips are becoming an expensive prospect. But if you play your cards right, you can save money on travel and avoid debt over the course of your travels. That is how.
1. Book summer plans early
Summer tends to be a popular time to travel. But if you make your arrangements now, you can save money on flights and hotels.
Most hotels offer fairly flexible cancellation policies, allowing you, in some cases, to check out as little as 48 hours in advance. With airlines, you get less flexibility, so you’ll need to be more careful there. The same goes for private rentals you book through sites like Airbnb or VRBO. But if your plans are firm, booking early could result in you spending less.
2. Get off the beaten path
If you’re traveling to a popular destination this year like Disney World, you can spend a small fortune in a week of travel. That’s why it’s worth exploring lesser-known destinations
Do some research depending on your goals and needs. There are numerous kid-friendly cities across the country with amenities like parks, zoos, and smaller amusement parks that may be right for your kids. And if you’re traveling without kids, you can look for areas that offer access to great food, amazing hikes, or a host of museums.
3. Use the right credit card
The credit card you use to book your plans could result in big savings, so choosing the right one is important. If you’re planning a road trip, use a card that pays you back extra money at the gas station. If you’re flying, consider a travel rewards credit card, as these cards often offer money-saving benefits like free checked bags.
4. Redeem those saved hotel miles or points
Some people like to hang on to airline miles or hotel points as a kind of safety net. But if travel demand soars this year, flights and hotels could become very expensive. If you have accumulated miles or points, now may be a good time to use them.
Whatever travel plans you have in mind, it’s helpful to carry them out for less money. Not only could that help you avoid debt, but it could also set the stage for additional vacations and a world of amazing experiences and memories.
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