Saving Big on Summer Travel, Part 2: Driving or Flying

By Susan Wolfe

You might think that taking a vacation is all fun and games, but the truth is that travel is big business too. In fact, travel and tourism accounts for 10 percent of the global GDP, with travelers around the globe spending $7.6 trillion on an annual basis.

In this series, we’re looking at all the ways that you can tweak your travel plans to make sure that your vacation doesn’t turn into a financial disaster. Making slight adjustments will help you stretch your dollars further, letting you get a little extra relaxation out of your vacation.

In Part 1, we discussed how to save money as you plan your trip. In Part 2 of this series, we’ll be taking a look at some great ways to save as you hit the road, whether you’re hopping a flight or getting behind the wheel yourself.

Road tripping: The road trip is an American tradition, and we’ve got thousands of beautiful miles and fifty states to explore. But if you’re getting behind the wheel to reach your destination, here are a few suggestions to help you get there with a little extra cash in your pocket.

  • Monitor your tire pressure: It will help to have a fuel-efficient car if you’re driving across the country. But if your tires are even slightly underinflated, you’re giving up a few miles per gallon before you even pull out of the garage.
  • Load up on non-perishable snacks: Food is another huge expense on vacation. If you’re driving, you have an advantage over airborne travelers—you can pack lots of food with you. This way you can avoid those costly pit stops on the side of the highway.
  • Alternatives to hotels: If you’re going to have to drive for a few days to reach your destination, your costs can easily add up if you stay in a hotel every night. Instead, plot out campsites, hostels or other low-cost alternatives to hotels. After all, you’re essentially just paying for a place to rest your head for the night before you take off again.

Flying: While it can be a vacation in itself to take a road trip, not everyone can take that much time away from their daily lives. But flying comes with its own set of expenses that you must take care to avoid. Here are a few suggestions.

  • Assess your baggage: Baggage fees have become a standard part of airfare. But depending on where you’re going, and for how long, you may be able to avoid it. In other cases, you’ll be better off paying the fees. For instance, if you’re traveling somewhere that the weather is highly variable, you might spend more for a heavy suitcase. But it will still be cheaper than packing light and having to pick up extra clothes when you get there.
  • Bundle your flights with other services: If you’re flying, you will probably need a car when you land. If you plan ahead, you can actually save considerably if you pay for your flight, your car and your hotel simultaneously.
  • Take advantage of special deals: If you’re looking for a new credit card, many come with offers that include airline miles. But you don’t have to open a credit card to benefit. There are many businesses affiliated with airlines that you may be able to leverage to get airline miles to reduce the price of your fare.

If you’re a Milford or Stratford resident gearing up for a summer vacation, be sure to check back with us for more great tips to save money on your travels. You can also learn many great ways to grow your wealth by checking out our Online Learning Center, or by stopping by any office of The Milford Bank today!