Can You Save Money on Summer Travel? Book It!

Gas and oil prices are rising and there’s no end in sight. “Travel” and “saving money” shouldn’t even be in the same sentence these days, right?

In the past, even when airfares were high, at least we could save money by taking a road trip instead. But gasoline prices are so high, it costs an arm and a leg to get anywhere by automobile.

And, of course, with inflation soaring out of control, other costs are shooting up as well. Including rental cars, hotels and restaurant bills.

I think we could all use some good ideas on how to save money while still having an enjoyable travel experience. That’s what I’m going to try to help you with today.

Flying could be an option

My first suggestion is to not assume it’s too expensive to fly somewhere. At least look into the possibility. Consider multiple airports if that’s an option, or flying during off hours. 

Yes, airfares have gone up recently. But they started rising from a level that was historically pretty low due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Fuel for airplanes has risen in cost, but airfares have not followed quite the same trajectory. At least not yet. That’s because fuel accounts for only about 30% of operating costs for airlines.

And if you do find an affordable airfare, book it sooner rather than later. The longer you wait, the greater the chance that fare will go up.

Only rent a car if necessary

If you do fly, consider an alternative to a rental car if that’s a possibility. Why? Outrageous prices. 

The average price of a rental care is 39% higher than it was a year ago. That’s according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

You might be better off using ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft for getting to your hotel or bed and breakfast. 

Or maybe you can get by with only needing a rental car for a few days rather than an entire week or more.

Take a bite out of the Big Apple 

Now, hotels are expensive too. But at least hotel rooms are only 7% higher priced than they were a year ago. That’s a little more manageable.

If you’re staying in a hotel, you’ll generally get better rates during the week than you will over a weekend.

If you’re open to a variety of potential vacation sites, you might want to consider cities rather than rural towns. 

As an example, during February vacation rental bookings in New York City were down by about 47% from two years ago. And if you go to the Big Apple, you definitely won’t need a car to get around.

Exclusive deals on phone apps

Some people find travel deals offered exclusively through phone apps. Ones such as TripAdvisor, Roomer and Kayak.

They also set up alerts for deals. This saves them plenty of time navigating the Internet looking for those deals. The apps allow you to compare prices across a number of different airlines and hotels at the same time.

Does it matter which day of the week you book your flight? Actually, yes. Plane ticket deals often are available on Sundays. But they might be gone by Monday.

While you’re at it, scout out deals at your destination. A little research might net you some good deals on meals and activities. Some hotels offer discounts on tours and local attractions.

Keep money in your wallet 

Another way to make travel less expensive is by seeking out freebies. A hotel offering free breakfast every day could save you a nice chunk of money.

And if you’re driving to your destination, pack a cooler with sandwiches, fruit, vegetables and beverages. That will also be a big saving, and you’ll get to your destination faster.

If you’re flying, make sure you pack smart so you don’t get tagged with a weight charge on your checked luggage.

Pack the type of clothes that can be worn more than once without needing to be washed. And if you’re traveling with friends or family, don’t double up on items such as shaving cream and blow dryers. 

More recommendations 

Here are a few more ideas:

  • Limit the amount of cash you spend while at your destination. It’s very tempting to splurge, but the bills will come shortly after you arrive home.
  • Consider renting out your home while you’re gone. That money could offset some of your vacation expenses.
  • While at your destination, go to the grocery store and buy enough food for several meals. Restaurant bills will add up if you eat out every day and night.
  • Never touch the mini bar in your hotel room. The prices for everything from water and vodka to pretzels and macadamia nuts are ridiculous.
  • When doing touristy stuff, take advantage of free-admission days.

Many of us have missed out on vacations the past couple of years. It’s time to change that. And by acting on some of the suggestions above, you may be able to afford the type of vacation you really want.


  • Bunny Wheeler - May 26, 2022

    My questions were about portable water container cleaned by us light.

  • Sandra Comlee - May 26, 2022


  • Glenn Scott - May 25, 2022

    Stay away from New York if you are a gun owner. They HATE people who like guns.

  • Michael Agoncillo - May 25, 2022

    Thank you so much for the practical tips!
    Prices are so ridiculous nowadays.
    Wages cannot keep up with inflation.

    Thank you again, 4Patriots!!!

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