Now that it’s becoming safer to travel again, learn how you can save and pay for travel.
Many people avoided traveling last year, when coronavirus cases were increasing across the country. This was especially true of air travel. According to the Transportation Security Administration, the U.S. government screened 500 million fewer people at U.S. airport checkpoints in 2020, down 61% from 2019.
Now that confirmed cases of COVID-19 are going down in some parts of the country, and vaccines are becoming more readily available, some people are eager to start traveling again. According to a survey by Harvest Hosts, about 76% of respondents said they plan to travel more than they did in 2020, and 60% said they plan to travel more than they did in 2019.
After several months of staying home, taking a vacation from work and getting away is probably very tempting. While planning a trip can be thrilling, it also takes time and research to save money and find an affordable way to get away.
To make it easier to plan a trip, we’ve put together a budget guide to help you pay for travel. Here are some things to consider to save and pay for travel.
Start by considering what you can afford.
Before you dive into planning a major trip, it’s a good idea to take a look at your finances. While your lack of travel last year might have saved you some money, many people faced financial issues due to the pandemic. If you don’t have a travel fund, ask yourself a few questions to determine what type of trip you can afford:
- How much money do you have in expendable income?
- Do you have a savings?
- Do you have an emergency fund?
- Do you have a lot of high-interest debt?
- Do you have enough cash to cover monthly expenses?
If you’re planning for a trip months in advance, you have time to adjust your budget and start putting money away towards your dream trip. Knowing how much money you have to spend will help you determine if you can afford a trip overseas, a trip across the country or a staycation.
Budget for big expenses first.
Transportation and lodging are the most expensive aspects of a trip. Researching flights can help you determine if you can afford a major trip or not. Taking a local trip can cost a lot less if you don’t have to pay for airfare and only have to save for lodging.
How to save on airfare.
If you are planning to fly, there are many sites to help you compare ticket prices. If you are looking to save money, always search with flexible dates. Leaving just one day earlier or later could save you money. Also, don’t forget to check multiple local airports during your search. There are sites like Secret Flying that help make you aware of airfare deals as they happen. You can also subscribe to airline newsletters to be informed of flight deals.
How to save on hotels.
You already know to check hotel price comparison sites, but there are other ways to save on hotel rooms. Joining hotel memberships like Marriot Bonvoy or Hilton Honors can help you score points towards a free stay. Certain credit card companies also offer hotel branded credit cards that help you earn free stays faster. Using Hotels.com can help you earn a free night. After ten nights, users can book a night free based on the average cost of those other stays.
Plan for other travel costs.
Once you have factored in the major costs, you need to budget for other costs as well. Consider how much money you spend per day on dining out. If you are staying in a regular hotel room, you won’t be able to cook your own meals.
Many trips also include entertainment costs like theme park, museum, zoo and other tickets. You should also consider local transportation costs and parking or car rental costs.
How to pay for travel.
If you don’t have available funds, but need to get away, there are a few ways to pay for travel. Whether you’re looking for funds for a trip or overspent and need funds while you are away, Uprova can help with quick funding. You can request a personal loan between $300 and $5,000. If approved, the funds can be transferred to your account in as soon as one business day.
You can also use a credit card to pay for travel, but make sure to choose the one with the lowest interest rate. Budget to ensure you can repay the debt by the end of the month to avoid paying interest.