Clever Tips for Beating Cost of Travel Increases

You may be tempted to write off your family vacation as a “want” instead of a “need,” but the health benefits of R&R suggest otherwise. Taking time off work can protect your heart, reduce anxiety, and help you shake off brain fog. Of course, you still need to look for ways to avoid debt. These tips can help you beat cost of travel increases.

Know What Your Main Expenses Are

Everyone’s idea of a relaxing vacation is different. For some families, getting away from it all means camping in pristine nature. For others, having fun means visiting zoos and amusement parks. Other people just want a break from cooking and cleaning.

Different vacations imply different expenses. Tropical locations cost more for airfare but may save you tons of money in accommodations. Camping at a national park may seem cheap until you see how much gas costs to get there and back.

Once you know your biggest expenses, it’s easier to find ways to compensate. Focus on fuel, airfare, hotels, rental cars and restaurants. If you have to spend more on one, balance it out by reducing the others.

Don’t Believe the Hype

It’s true that most expenses rise during inflation, but not all do, or not to the level you think. For example, flights may cost more than they did six months ago, but they may still be cheaper than three or four years ago.

Before dismissing that beach vacation, make sure to check the plane tickets, they aren't as bad as you think. The money you save on hotels, taxis and food may make a trip to Central America, South America, Asia or the Caribbean worth it.

Be Destination Flexible

This one is easier for solo travelers or couples. You may be able to save money by searching by price instead of by destination. This infuses your vacation with a sense of adventure, and it lets you find amazing deals to places you may not have thought about. While you don’t want to visit places with civil unrest, you may be able to use good currency exchange rates to maximize your fun in Tunisia, Peru, Vietnam, South Africa, Bangladesh, Egypt or Mexico.

That said, before purchasing airline tickets, make sure you can score a rental car. Rental car availability has gotten tricky for hotspots.

Use Your Travel Points

If you’ve been using a credit card for years that gives you reward points, this may be the perfect time to cash them in. For many airlines and hotels, the value of reward miles has increased, meaning you get more bang for your points. The money you save this way can help you beat the cost of travel increases for accommodations, rental cars and airfare.

Be Clever

Vacation is supposed to be about relaxation, so don’t try to penny-pinch every little thing. That said, with some planning and outside-of-the-box thinking, you can snag deals that other people miss.

Whether it’s traveling during the week or visiting a place with great public transportation (Chicago, NYC, San Francisco, etc.), there are many options for building an amazing vacation for less. By this time next month, you may be sipping pina coladas on a gorgeous beach somewhere.