After being suspended by the pandemic for the past two years, the travel industry is booming, and the trend looks to continue into early Fall. Eager travelers are understandably excited to take those long-awaited vacations. However, the pandemic has created chaos in the travel industry- increased cancellations and delays due to labor shortages, surging airfares, and record-breaking gas prices. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, air fares are up 33%, fuel prices have increased by 44% and meals are 9% higher compared to a year ago. Needless to say, if you are planning to travel in Summer or Fall of 2022, prepare for it to be expensive. Fortunately, there are plenty of travel-saving tips if you are willing to be flexible and are prepared in advance.
- Purchase Travel Insurance
Due to the current state of air travel, mishaps are bound to occur. Purchasing travel insurance will protect your budget and ease your travel anxiety. With the added travel uncertainty in the COVID-era, insurance is highly recommended by travel experts. It covers major financial risks and includes protections such as travel and baggage delay benefits. If you have a delay of six hours or more, travel delay benefits will reimburse you for reasonable expenses such as transportation, food, and accommodation. If your baggage is delayed or lost for 24 hours or more, they will also reimburse you for essential item purchases. To learn more about travel insurance, visit websites such as Nerd Wallet and Forbes.
- Credit Card Travel Rewards
Due to high travel demand, credit card issuers are offering attractive bonuses for new cardholders. If you’re in the market for a new credit card then you may want to consider applying for a travel rewards card, paying for expenses with your new card, and cashing in the rewards for air miles or hotel vouchers. Travel cards often carry high interest rates and annual fees, so just make sure to only purchase what you can afford to pay off. Also, it is important to note= that many cards will include a foreign transaction fee of 3%. Look for a card without this fee in case you are planning to use it abroad. Many of these cards will more than pay for themselves if you use them correctly.
- Travel where the local currency is weaker
It is no secret that inflation has been running hot over the last few months, making it difficult to plan a reasonably priced vacation. If you also add losing money due to a currency conversion, the combination can quickly blow your desired vacation budget. Some destinations that have lower costs of living may come with a higher airline fare, but the price is worth it when factoring in how much cheaper the accommodations, transportation and meals will be.
Asian countries such as Vietnam and Malaysia will give you the most bang for your buck if comparing it to a vacation to Europe for example. Latin American countries are also destinations where the dollar will take you further. Other
countries with weaker currencies relative to the dollar include, but are not limited to, Mexico, Argentina, Guatemala, and Nicaragua.
- Be Flexible
The key to maximizing your travel budget is flexibility. Try to be flexible with your destination, airport, and travelling dates. You can use Google Flights to find the cheapest destinations and flights. According to Hopper, the cheapest days to fly domestically are generally Tuesdays or Wednesdays. For international travel, Wednesdays or Thursdays are typically the best.
- Plan a Staycation
Instead of worrying about airports, flight cancellations and extraordinarily high airfares, book a staycation near you. This will limit fuel usage and there will be no need to stress about cancellations. If you live near Portland, you could take a beach vacation to Cannon Beach or Astoria. If you prefer the mountains and some hiking, you could book a cabin in Mount Hood.
These are just a few ways you can save on travel this Summer and Fall. We hope that if you do have upcoming travel plans, you arrive to your destination safely and with minimal travel difficulties. Most importantly, have a relaxing vacation.