How to save money on summer vacation amid soaring inflation

·2 min read

As the summer approaches, more travelers must contend with soaring inflation that will add costs to everything from airplane tickets to car rentals to gasoline for road trips.

In fact, 69% of people taking summer vacation this year plan to alter their plans because of inflation, according to a March 2022 survey of 2,676 U.S. adults conducted by Bankrate. In March, inflation rose by its highest level since 1981 as the Consumer Price Index spiked 8.4%.

But in a recent interview with Yahoo Finance, a credit card expert from Bankrate expressed optimism that people will still want to get away after years of putting vacations on hold during the pandemic. And they can still find ways to save money, according to Ted Rossman, Bankrate credit card senior industry analyst.

International trips could actually be cheaper than some domestic travel. (Photo Credit: Getty Creative)
International trips could actually be cheaper than some domestic travel. (Photo Credit: Getty Creative)

"Budgeting is key here, planning ahead," he told Yahoo Finance Live (video above). "A lot of people have been planning trips on really short notice the past couple of years. That often costs more, unless maybe you think backwards and sort of let the deals dictate where you go. I mean, if you're truly flexible, maybe you're open-minded and you can find a deal."

Travelers who want save money should forget popular domestic vacation destinations like Florida and Hawaii and opt for certain international vacation sites or visit more business-centric cities, he said.

"If you're comfortable going international, or also maybe business cities like New York, there's a lot of touristy stuff in New York as well, but it's been slower to bounce back from the pandemic without as much business demand. I wonder if a city like that might offer a little more of a deal potential," Rossman said.

He also said that people can use their credit card perks to have a more affordable vacation.

"Sign-up bonuses are high. Use those points and frequent flyer miles to fuel a free trip. You may be sitting on a stockpile of rewards that you don't even realize that full value. Those are some ways to stretch your dollar further," Rossman said.

Even if people don't travel as far they used to, he said, they shouldn't let their vacation days go to waste.

"People may travel, but not go as far or not do it up as big as they otherwise would have. I think people should do something," he said. "I don't like all this vacation time that goes unused. I think that's unfortunate."

Ella Vincent is a personal finance reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @bookgirlchicago.

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