Columbia Star

1963        Celebrating 60 Years      2023

How to make summer travel more affordable

Summer is peak travel season. Vacationers can expect to pay top dollar as they head off for parts unknown.

Much has been made of inflation over the last year-plus, as the cost of seemingly everything has risen considerably since early 2022. The cost of travel has seemingly increased by an even greater percentage than the cost of groceries. Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index indicates the cost of airfare increased by more than 25 percent between January 2022 to January 2023.

Though travel has never been inexpensive, the rising costs have scared many consumers into staying home. However, consumers who want to travel but don’t want to break the bank can try various strategies as they seek to get out of the house this summer.

•Travel domestically. With airfare costs skyrocketing, now might not be the most budget-friendly time to travel overseas. Thankfully, would-be vacationers can still get away. By driving to their destinations, vacationers can save substantial sums of money and also maintain greater control of their trips.

•Change your timeline. If a faraway dream destination beckons, travelers might still be able to make it work if they have the flexibility to alter their timelines. Rather than taking a Monday through Friday off from work, consider starting and ending a vacation in midweek. It’s generally less expensive, and sometimes significantly so, to fly mid-week compared to flying Friday Monday.

•Cash in your credit card points. Another way to ensure summer travel doesn’t put a big dent in your savings is to utilize cash back rewards or airline miles linked to your credit card account. If you have a lot of cash and/or miles saved up, the coming summer of expensive travel could be the ideal time to use them.

•Consider a homestay over a hotel. Homestays, which includes bookings through sites such as Airbnb and VRBO, are typically much less expensive to book than hotel rooms. But homestays also save travelers money on food, as many listings feature fully operational kitchens that can help travelers avoid dining out three times per day over the duration of their trips.

Travel is a significant expense, however, it’s still possible to vacation without breaking the bank.

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