While the global pandemic has made people stop traveling for about two years, air travel has almost returned to pre-pandemic levels today. The majority of American consumers are planning to travel this year and search for good deals. The number of travelers and flyers is rising, vacation rentals are booming, and hotels are filling up.
While the demand for summer travel is up 20 to 25% compared to 2019, it can be challenging to find summer travel deals as oil prices may seriously impact travel expenses. Keep on reading to learn how to travel cheap this summer and stay off the beaten path.
How to Choose Cheap Holiday Destination
The inflation rates keep going up. It’s true that prices go up when everybody wants something while there isn’t enough of it. It’s necessary to know in what places demand remains high when you are about to plan a summer trip. After all, not many people can afford an expensive holiday resort now as not all consumers have recovered from the pandemic economically. Getting a small loan to help pay rent is a common practice among American consumers these days.
While thousands of people live paycheck to paycheck, they definitely search for alternative ways to obtain additional funds for the short term to cover the money gaps. Expensive holiday destinations such as Mexico may eat up a big chunk of your budget. If you aren’t prepared to pay a lot, it’s better to avoid going to this country now even though they offer easy testing demands and proximity.
It will be challenging to find cheap deals for summer travel in Mexico. It’s better to try less popular holiday destinations like those near National Parks or in rural areas. Small towns and rural areas may offer cheaper deals to American travelers this year as they depend heavily on tourists. Moreover, you may plan to travel to Europe. Places like Greece, Italy, and Croatia have been relatively slow to recover from the global pandemic. These countries are from 40 to 60% down in demand so the prices will surprise you.
How to Protect Your Budget During Summer Travel
While the lockdowns have prevented us from traveling for the last two years, this year is also rough in terms of travel. After the start of the Russia-Ukraine war, flight bookings to Europe dropped. It means you can find good deals this summer. But the fuel prices keep on being pressured and rental cars remain in high demand these days. If you want to cut costs of travel and protect your budget, here are some useful tips to follow:
Book Some Things Late
We have already changed the way we make plans as modern life seems uncertain. Travelers need to adapt to the new reality and change the way they book their vacations. Instead of booking the dates in advance, you may want to book the trip a few weeks away. It can be a useful option to secure travel deals.
You may even end up paying more if you book a summer vacation beforehand. The last minute is when many prices usually drop to fill remaining availability. If the stay date isn’t booked yet, you may get a discount. Furthermore, it is cheaper to book hotels a few days or weeks before rather than a few months.
Consider a Staycation
Are you pressed for funds? Many Americans experience financial disruptions these days. In fact, 60% of Americans reported feeling stressed and anxious about their personal finances, mentions FINRA Investor Education Foundation. Choosing to drive to a local cottage in the rural area may be cheaper than dealing with international travel. More and more people select domestic vacations as they cost less.
Besides, driving is cheaper compared to flight fares on many occasions. So, if you are willing to lower expenses but still want to have a rest, consider this option. Even though fuel prices go up these days, it may save you time.
Purchase Travel Insurance
The COVID restrictions were loosened so that many airline companies don’t need to reimburse canceled flights anymore. Also, they shouldn’t waive fees when rebooking. Experts recommend consumers read the fine print of the travel insurance contract as some insurance deals don’t reimburse all canceled flights while others may have long claim processing times.
Nobody knows what might happen even tomorrow. We can’t predict how prices will change, whether the international conflicts may escalate, or the borders may close again. Being a traveler means you need to adapt to changes and be flexible. Flexibility is a useful skill that will help you find the best travel deals.
Don’t make a firm travel plan for a certain destination. Check the options, compare prices, and follow the deals you find. Review accommodation offers and airfare deals. They may differ on particular dates and even be cheaper if you accept changes. Budget travel is all about being flexible. Don’t forget to book a vacation that may be canceled or changed if something goes wrong.
Rebook at Your Own Risk
It may be stressful and frustrating to cope with uncertainty, but consumers should beware of canceling travel. Not everyone can find cheaper alternatives. Recent research shows that the top 11 American airlines will fly 12% fewer flights this summer. It means there will be a higher demand for air travel, while many places and dates may no longer remain available when rebooking.
If the airlines cancel the flight themselves, you will most likely get a refund. However, you won’t receive anything back if you cancel the trip yourself. There is a lot of pressure on airlines to refund quickly or rebook within 24 hours.
The Bottom Line
While travel is finally back and most of us can enjoy having a small break, it’s essential to have an understanding of new changes when it comes to travel deals. Follow our tips to book accommodation and rental cars, save your budget, visit cities and avoid resort holiday destinations if you plan to save your funds. Book fares and flights that can be canceled or changed and don’t always book in advance.