How to Save on 2024 Summer Travel

Americans will be traveling in record numbers this summer, and they plan to do it on a budget. According to NerdWallet’s 2024 summer travel survey, about 45 percent of Americans will be booking a flight or a hotel stay this summer. Of those, about 91 percent of travelers will be making travel decisions to save money, like driving instead of flying or choosing more affordable accommodations.

If you’re one of the millions of Americans who plan to travel this summer, here are some tips to cut down on costs and save money when booking:

Booking at optimal times

If you want to save money, some weeks in the summer are better than others for travel.

For example, according to Expedia, the last week of June is the most expensive for travel. The last two weeks of August, however, are the most affordable. 

When you book airfare, you can also save more money by booking your flight between 21 and 60 days ahead of departure, for both domestic and international flights. If you’re booking your flights further in advance, you can use a price alert site to track the best deals.

And if you’re looking for a day of the week to book a flight for maximum savings, try Tuesdays for domestic flights, and Mondays for international.

Holiday weekends, like the Fourth of July and Labor Day, will also be more expensive for flights and hotel bookings. When you can, opt for weekdays or less popular weeks to get the best deals.

Making budget-conscious choices: Summer 2024 Travel

It’s going to be a big summer for travel, but many people are still feeling the strain of high prices and travel expenses. There are some simple swaps you can make to cut down on costs for your trip:

  • Try driving over flying. While gas prices are beginning to climb ahead of summer travel, it can still be a more affordable option depending on how many people you’re traveling with, and how far you’re going.  
  • Go with a group and split the cost of your stay. It can be more cost effective to rent a larger cabin, suite or rental home with a group, instead of paying for individual hotel rooms.
  • Stick closer to home. There might be some fun destinations nearby that won’t require a flight or a several-night hotel stay.
  • Travel with snacks and groceries when you can, and avoid the high cost of frequently dining out.

Using travel points

About 35 percent of summer travelers plan to credit card points or miles to cover travel expenses. If you travel frequently, you should be collecting some kind of travel bonus, whether it’s cash back, miles or hotel points. But even if you only get out of town once a year, you can still enjoy the rewards of credit card bonuses. 

There are two main credit card rewards for travelers: cash back on your purchases, and points or miles for travel-related spending (think airline miles and hotel discounts.)

Cash back credit card rewards are likely to be the best option for less-frequent travelers. You’ll earn money on the dollars you spend, and those savings can go toward your next trip.

Credit cards that can get you travel discounts tend to work better for frequent travelers. You will see two kinds of these cards: the hotel and airline points cards, and other travel-related discount options.

Hotel points and airline miles cards are a great fit if you’re happy to stick with one hotel chain or airline for your travels, while other travel discount cards give you a bit more variety.

If your credit is in good standing and there are vacations or business trips in your future, there is likely a travel rewards card that will suit you.

Note: If you’ve got points saved up and you’ll be traveling this summer, you might want to use them instead of saving for a later trip. Due to inflation, points can lose their value over time.

Budgeting for Summer 2024 Travel

The best way to make budget-conscious travel decisions is to work your trip into your budget well in advance. If you know that you’ve got a trip coming up within the next several months, book tickets, pay for accommodations and set aside money over time. This approach is much less jarring for your budget, and it gives you time to do your research and find the best possible deals.

Whether you’re gearing up for a once-in-a-lifetime getaway, or a weekend at grandma’s a few states away, plan your expenses and prepare ahead of time for an enjoyable trip that won’t add unnecessary stress to your finances.

About Your Richest Life

At Your Richest Life, Katie Brewer, CFP®, believes you too should have access to financial resources and fee-only financial planning. For more information on the services offered, contact Katie today.

The post How to Save on 2024 Summer Travel appeared first on Your Richest Life.

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