Here’s how to save while enjoying life.
- New data reveals that most Americans intend to prioritize travel during the summer.
- Using your credit cards strategically could help you save, whether you’re tackling a flight or hitting the road.
Many Americans shunned travel in 2020, when the pandemic was fairly recent and vaccines weren’t yet available. In 2021, travel has certainly increased, but part of the summer rush has been thwarted by the rise of the delta variant.
Now, Americans are eager to travel again, so much so that 85% intend to do so this summer, according to a survey conducted by the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA) in association with The Harris Poll. If you’re hoping to travel this summer, it’s worth starting saving for your big trip now. It also pays to use your credit cards strategically to save. Here are some ways your credit cards could make your next itinerary less expensive.
1. Free checked baggage on airlines
Gone are the days when a plane ticket entitles you to a free checked bag. On most domestic flights, you’ll have to pay to check a bag, usually around $35. But if you book your flight with a travel rewards credit card, you can enjoy free checked bags, which could result in a nice amount of savings.
2. Free flights and hotel stays
If you rack up enough airline miles or points on your credit cards, you could get a free flight or hotel room for your next trip. But if that’s a benefit you’re hoping to capitalize on, try to book your summer plans as soon as possible. Using airline miles and hotel points isn’t always easy, so you’ll want to make sure the dates you have in mind aren’t crossed out. If they are, you may need a different game plan.
3. Reimbursement of money in gasoline refills
Although gas prices are rising these days and could stay high through the summer, it might still make sense to drive to your destination instead of booking a flight. In fact, in the aforementioned survey, driving in personal vehicles is the first option to reach summer travel destinations.
Let’s say you’re a family of five looking to travel the East Coast. A 2,000-mile road trip could cost you $450 if your car gets 20 miles per gallon and the average gallon of gas costs $4.50 at that point (which, unfortunately, might be the case). But if the cheapest flight you can find is $250 per person, driving will save you money.
Still, higher gas prices can hit summer travelers hard, but if you use the right credit card to fill up, you can enjoy savings in the form of cash back. Some credit cards offer 3% cash back or even more on top-ups, so if you’re planning a road trip, it might be worth applying for one.
It is possible that every day you get more excited about the idea of traveling in the summer. No matter what your destination is, do your best to get the most savings from your credit cards so you can more easily repeat the trip soon.
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