Ways to save on your summer vacation

35% of travelers are driving instead of flying to cut costs
Published: May. 23, 2023 at 8:04 PM EDT
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(InvestigateTV) — Summer travelers will spend an average of $3,293 on flights and hotels for their vacation, according to a study from NerdWallet.

Sally French, a travel expert with NerdWallet, said 92% of travelers surveyed are adjusting their travel plans this summer to save money.

“If you’re basing this year’s vacation budget off of past years’ vacation budgets it’s not going to go as far,” French said. “NerdWallet tracks inflation data across all sorts of categories, and travel prices are up higher than pretty much any other category.”

French said hotel room prices are up 8% year over year, a record high.

She said the best way to fight increased prices is to be flexible. The ability to adjust travel days away from weekends or the summer holidays could save quite a bit of money.

“Based on the past year, it’s looking like Memorial Day is going to be one of the busiest days to travel,” French explained. “In 2021-2022 the Friday before Memorial Day was the busiest travel day of the entire week ahead of Memorial Day. And in fact, in 2019, the Friday before Memorial Day was the third busiest day of the entire year.”

Her best advice: leave on the Thursday before, if possible, to cut down on crowds and potentially cost.

NerdWallet has several other tips to keep summer vacation costs low:

  • Have a plan to pay off any debt you rack up on your trip to avoid costly interest
  • Use travel or rewards points to finance travel
  • Make a back-up plan in case your primary plan fall through
  • Create a budget and stick to it