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5 Smart Ways to Save on Summer Travel

Summer is finally here, which means it's time for road trips, family vacations and weekend getaways. Whether you're craving a beach escape or a rustic retreat, the truth is that traveling can be expensive, especially during this inflationary time. With a little research and planning, you can combat inflation and keep more money in your pocket!

Take a look at these five smart summer travel tips to help you save:

​#1: Compare prices

Deciding where you want to go is the first step in any vacation planning process. With inflation continuing to keep prices high, it's worth taking the time to do your research and compare the cost of traveling to different destinations. How much can you save by driving versus flying? What's the price difference between staying in a hotel or a vacation rental home? Be sure to account for transportation, accommodations, meals, souvenirs and activities as you build your vacation budget.

#2: Start saving early

Once you have a trip budget in mind, consider opening a secondary savings account to keep your vacation funds separate from your regular savings and emergency fund. The earlier you start saving, the better! Once you're on your trip, you can use WPCU's free Money Management tool to track your spending and stay on budget.

#3: Share the fun (and the expenses!)

There's a good chance your family members or friends are eager to take a summer trip, too. Including others can add to the fun and help you save big by splitting vacation costs, such as:​

  • Transportation (gas money, rental car fees, etc.)
  • Accommodations (especially if you choose a large rental home!)
  • Groceries, snacks and meals
  • Tips at restaurants
  • Rental kayaks, beach chairs or bikes
  • Guided tours

#4: Stay close to home

Taking a vacation doesn't mean you have to travel far! A local, lower-cost option, like camping or a “staycation" can be just as exciting and enjoyable as a cross-country adventure. Be a tourist in your own hometown and explore nearby attractions like museums, parks and hiking trails, historical sites, restaurants and more. Staying closer to home can help you save money and stress less about planning a big trip.

#5: Travel in the “off-season"

Remember, vacation is supposed to be fun and relaxing, not stressful. If traveling doesn't fit your budget right now, there's no reason to rush it. In fact, delaying your trip until the “off-season" is a savvy travel strategy! Not only will you have more time to save up and dodge the big summer crowds, but you may be able to score deals on airfare, lodging and activities.

Looking for more tips, tools and resources to help you manage inflation and your money? Learn more here or schedule an appointment with one of our financial coaches at your local WPCU member center. We're here to help you!