By Shari Kruzinski | WSFS Bank
With COVID-19 vaccinations underway, restrictions easing and the school year wrapping up, many people are ready to get out of the house and spend their summers traveling again.
Whether visiting family and friends, getting back to annual vacations or choosing new destinations to explore, travelers are charting their plans. However, with some restrictions still in place or limited availability for flights or lodging, traveling on a traditional budget could prove difficult.
Here are a few tips for travel spending this summer that won’t break the bank.
Hit the Road
Many travel experts are predicting that pent up demand to travel this summer will be unlike anything the industry has ever seen. This demand could cause an increase in airfare, for instance, that could make flying a strain on your budget.
Consider turning your summer vacation into a road trip, perhaps visiting family or friends along the way to your destination to save money on hotels for multi-day drives. My parents did this for years and it worked out perfectly. It’s a great, economical way to visit your children and grandchildren who might be spread out over the county.
If you’re not a typical road tripper, invest in a few essentials like a good cooler to store drinks and picnic lunches (those fast food drive thru lines can get quite long and slow you down), a phone charger and a dashboard phone holder for your car so you can use traffic and directions apps like Google Maps or Waze. This is a good time to consider a roadside assistance membership like AAA, which often provides discounts on hotels and car rentals for travelers.
If you are traveling by air this summer, experts suggest waiting on booking flights until more is known about restrictions, including for children who aren’t old enough to be vaccinated.
And don’t forget about traveling by train. With private rooms and travel cars equipped with onboard air filtration systems, train travel can sometimes serve as a middle ground between air and car travel in terms of both price and time spent getting to and from your destination.