How to budget for the summer travel season
Yahoo Finance senior columnist Kerry Hannon shares tips for how to travel this summer on a budget.
SEANA SMITH: Memorial Day weekend, it’s fast approaching. Just a few days away. And that means that officially, the kickoff of the summer travel season. Yahoo Finance senior columnist Kerry Hannon is here with some of the tips that can save you money. Because Kerry, if you’re traveling this summer, it certainly is going to cost you a lot more.
KERRY HANNON: Oh my gosh. I mean, it is the summer that everyone wants to go. But there’s lots of headwinds with inflation and all kinds of concerns out there. And frankly, planes are packed. Hotels are expensive. It’s really hard to get rental cars. So you need to do some homework. You have to be patient. You have to look for– I talked to a bunch of different travel experts this week. And what I’m hearing is, look to travel midweek. Travel on Tuesday, not on Friday.
Try to be very flexible about your dates you want to go. August is going to be better than June, and certainly better than July. 4th of July, they say, is going to be really rough. Really use those rewards that you’ve gathered up in your credit cards. This is a time where those companion tickets, tap into those. We’ve all say, oh we’re going to use them one day. Why not use them right now? This is the time to do that.
And also, a lot of– we’re seeing a lot of people, resurgence of people, going to the cities. City versus beaches, because beaches are tough. It’s expensive. There’s a recommendation also to look for ways that you can bundle things, bundle the air, and the hotel, and the rental car. You can really get some great deals doing that.
Also, consider all inclusive, because then at least, you can budget for it and you’re not worried about prices jumping up on you. Here’s the cool thing, though. Here’s our bright spots. It’s not all doom and gloom. I mean, some people– some travel experts I talked to said, do nothing. Stay home. Make it the staycation year.
But frankly, this is the year with the dollar strong. Right? Maybe it’s the time to go to Europe. There’s some wonderful deals to take that European vacation because you do have the euro is weaker than it’s been in years against the dollar. There’s also great opportunities going to Mexico, to Canada. So open your horizons. Be a little flexible about where you want to go, when you want to go. And there’s some really great websites I wanted to mention as well. Because when you’re panicking, as I said, you need to do some research if you want to get on the road.
So hotels.com has this new hot price index that really looks at hotels, a big network to look at where you can get some great deals. Use those price trackers for airlines. A lot of them have them. Expedia has one, Skyscraper is one. There’s Hopper is another one. Kayak has one. There’s some good ones. Just Google flights. Keep tracking. You can find those better deals that way. I also think it’s important. There’s one that I hadn’t heard of actually called AutoSlash that canvasses this huge database to help you get rental cars.
So I mean, these are just some. There are other ones out there. But do your homework, take your time, and just realize that, yeah. It’s going to be pretty expensive. They’re saying anywhere from 25% to 50% more than last year that you spent on vacations. And the US Travel Association says 6 in 10 Americans want to hit the road.
So I mean, do it. But really take– be aware that there’s going to be a bit of a wallet whack here if you don’t really do some homework on the prices.
SEANA SMITH: Well, Kerry, I have to say, I was very encouraged to hear what you had to say about international travel, and specifically Europe. Because I have a wedding over in France. And I still haven’t booked much. So maybe it won’t be as bad as I was initially thinking I would potentially have to spend. All right, Kerry Hannon, always great to get your perspective. Thanks so much for joining us.