Who wouldn’t want to save $619 on their next vacation?
We asked three experts to share simple tips to pay less to travel, as well as an estimate of the dollar savings for each tip. In all, we estimate this advice could save you at least $619 per traveler, and possibly more for a longer stay.
Don’t worry — there’s still time to plan your cheap summer vacation. But before you do, make sure you’re following these travel strategies to get more summer fun while spending less.
1. Don’t buy airfare at the last minute
Potential savings: $139 or more
“The best piece of advice I can give is to not book too late,” said Liana Corwin, travel expert for airfare search app Hopper. “This is the costliest (and one of the most common) mistakes that travelers make, setting them back an average of $139 on domestic trips and $529 on international ones.”
2. Don’t buy airfare too early, either
Potential savings: $38 or more
Corwin said Hopper’s research found that you can book too early, too. If you find the pricing window “sweet spot,” you could save $38 on domestic flights, and $474 internationally, according to Hopper’s flight search data.
“If you’re traveling to a traditional business destination like New York or Washington, D.C., the best prices tend to be about three months in advance of departure,” Corwin said. “If you’re heading to a classic vacation destination such as Hawaii or Cancun, however, you’re likely to find the lowest deals about one month before your trip.”
3. Shop around before booking
Potential savings: $46 or more
“Another mistake travelers often make is booking their flights the same day that they search for them,” Corwin said. Hopper’s research found that two-thirds of ticket prices will drop within 24 hours of a customer’s first airfare search.
Waiting for a drop offers average savings of $46 on domestic trips or $139 internationally, Corwin said.
“An app like Hopper will tell you if the flight price you’re looking at is a good deal and whether you should buy now or wait,” she added. “No guessing needed!”
4. Pack in carry-ons only
Potential savings: $50 round trip
Checking a bag when flying will usually land you with a $25 fee. You also could face additional charges if your checked bag is overweight or if you check more than one bag.
If you can manage to travel light, you’ll be able to save some cash — $25 each way for a total savings of $50 round trip. Two U.S. airlines don’t charge a fee for the first checked bag, according to USA Today: Southwest Airlines and Cape Air.
Even if you’re planning to pack only in carry-on bags, check each airlines’ baggage policy, advised Johnny DiScala, founder of travel savings site JohnnyJet.com.
“Some of the new basic economy fares charge even for carry-on bags,” he said.
5. Skip hotels with resort fees
Potential savings: $21 a night
“Make sure there are no resort fees before reserving a night,” DiScala said.
The average resort fee is $21, according to The Washington Post. By checking prices and avoiding this fee, you could save up $100 or more on a five-night stay.
Since it’s not included in average nightly rates, however, you might not take account for resort fees when comparing the costs of different hotels. Make sure you’re carefully checking for all fees and reviewing your total before making a final decision.
6. Check price even after you’ve booked
Potential savings: $10 or more a night
Even after you’ve found a hotel that you like and booked your reservation, you can still shop around for a better deal.
“Keep checking the price of the hotel after [you] book,” DiScala suggested.
As your booked date approaches, your hotel might lower prices or run a promotional offer that’s less than your initial rate.
If the price goes down, cancel your first reservation and rebook at the lower price, DiScala said. Be sure to watch out for cancellation fees, which could negate the savings you could get by rebooking.
7. Eat in for one meal
Potential savings: $15 a day
Just because you’re not at home doesn’t mean you have to eat out for every meal. Finding a way to eat free or cheap can save as much (or more) than $15 a person, per day.
For example, a lot of hotels offer a continental breakfast that’s included in your rate. You can get your first meal of the day for free, as well as grab an apple or banana to snack on while you’re out and about.
“[You could also] have a large lunch and small dinner since lunch menus tend to be cheaper,” DiScala said.
Booking a hotel or Airbnb property that has a fridge and microwave can allow you to go grocery shopping and save more money, he added.
8. Take advantage of travel credit cards
Potential savings: Up to $300
Your method of payment for vacation costs can also be an opportunity to save.
“There are a significant number of perks that come with travel and airline credit cards,” said Bill Hardekopf, CEO of credit card comparison site LowCards.com.
One of the biggest savings comes on the Chase Sapphire Reserve card.
“[It] gives you a $300 travel credit each year as a reimbursement for your travel purchases (done on your anniversary date of becoming a cardholder),” Hardekopf said.
“The Bank of America Premium Rewards card gives you up to $200 in combined airline incidental and expedited screening costs,” he added.
This offsets expenses such as baggage fees and even TSA Precheck application costs.
These tips are a great starting point to save on your next trip. They also prove that paying less for your next vacation can be simple.
If you invest a small amount of time in researching airfare and comparing hotel rates, you can shave hundreds of dollars off your travel costs. And using smart travel strategies and tools to find and compare deals makes it even easier.
Interested in a personal loan?Here are the top personal loan lenders of 2021!
|Lender||APR Range||Loan Amount|
|5.99% – 18.85%1||$5,000 - $100,000|
|6.46% – 35.99%||$1,000 - $50,000|
|5.94% – 35.97%*||$1,000 - $50,000|
|99.00% – 199.00%2||$500 - $4,000|
|5.99% – 24.99%3||$5,000 - $40,000|
|7.99% – 29.99%4||$7,500 - $40,000|
|7.99% – 20.88%5||$5,000 - $50,000|
|9.99% – 35.99%6||$2,000 - $36,500|
|10.68% – 35.89%7||$1,000 - $40,000|
|9.95% – 35.99%8||$2,000 - $35,000|
|1 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for SoFi.
2 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for Opploans.
Direct Deposit required for payroll.
Opploans currently operates in these states: . *Approval may take longer if additional verification documents are requested. Not all loan requests are approved. Approval and loan terms vary based on credit determination and state law. Applications processed and approved before 7:30 p.m. ET Monday-Friday are typically funded the next business day.
3 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for Payoff.
4 Important Disclosures for FreedomPlus.
5 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
6 Important Disclosures for LendingPoint.
7 Important Disclosures for LendingClub.
All loans made by WebBank, Member FDIC. Your actual rate depends upon credit score, loan amount, loan term, and credit usage and history. The APR ranges from 10.68% to 35.89%. For example, you could receive a loan of $6,000 with an interest rate of 9.56% and a 5.00% origination fee of $300 for an APR of 13.11%. In this example, you will receive $5,700 and will make 36 monthly payments of $192.37. The total amount repayable will be $6,925.32. Your APR will be determined based on your credit at time of application. The origination fee ranges from 2% to 6% (average is 4.86% as of 7/1/2019 – 9/30/2019). In Georgia, the minimum loan amount is $3,025. In Massachusetts, the minimum loan amount is $6,001 if your APR is greater than 12%. There is no down payment and there is never a prepayment penalty. Closing of your loan is contingent upon your agreement of all the required agreements and disclosures on the www.lendingclub.com website. All loans via LendingClub have a minimum repayment term of 36 months or longer.
8 Important Disclosures for Avant.
*If approved, the actual loan terms that a customer qualifies for may vary based on credit determination, state law, and other factors. Minimum loan amounts vary by state.
**Example: A $5,700 loan with an administration fee of 4.75% and an amount financed of $5,429.25, repayable in 36 monthly installments, would have an APR of 29.95% and monthly payments of $230.33.
Based on the responses from 7,302 customers in a survey of 140,258 newly funded customers, conducted from August 1, 2018 – August 1, 2019, 95.11% of customers stated that they were either extremely satisfied or satisfied with Avant. 4/5 Customers would recommend us. Avant branded credit products are issued by WebBank, member FDIC.
* Important Disclosures for Upgrade Bank.
Upgrade Bank Disclosures
Personal loans made through Upgrade feature APRs of 5.94%-35.97%. All personal loans have a 2.9% to 8% origination fee, which is deducted from the loan proceeds. Lowest rates require Autopay and paying off a portion of existing debt directly. For example, if you receive a $10,000 loan with a 36-month term and a 17.98% APR (which includes a 14.32% yearly interest rate and a 5% one-time origination fee), you would receive $9,500 in your account and would have a required monthly payment of $343.33. Over the life of the loan, your payments would total $12,359.97. The APR on your loan may be higher or lower and your loan offers may not have multiple term lengths available. Actual rate depends on credit score, credit usage history, loan term, and other factors. Late payments or subsequent charges and fees may increase the cost of your fixed rate loan. There is no fee or penalty for repaying a loan early. Accept your loan offer and your funds will be sent to your bank or designated account within one (1) business day of clearing necessary verifications. Availability of the funds is dependent on how quickly your bank processes the transaction. From the time of approval, funds should be available within four (4) business days. Funds sent directly to pay off your creditors may take up to 2 weeks to clear, depending on the creditor. Personal loans issued by Upgrade’s lending partners. Information on Upgrade’s lending partners can be found at https://www.upgrade.com/lending-partners/.