(StatePoint) Despite steep transportation costs, domestic leisure travel is expected to rise 1.7 percent this year, to more than 1.6 billion trips, according to U.S. Travel Association projections.
With the average airfare close to the $400 mark -- excluding the cost of checked luggage -- knowing how to find savings could make the difference in affording your next vacation. “Unconventional travel planning can help you secure better deals on transportation and accommodations costs,” says Uri Argov, CEO of Tourico Holidays, a worldwide leader in travel services.
Savvy summer travelers should keep in mind the following tips from Argov when making their plans:
• Long weekends: If you’re planning a long weekend, save money by taking Monday off instead of Friday. Sunday is typically the least expensive night to stay in a hotel.
• Swim upstream: Planning off-season adventures can make for cheaper travel year-round. For example, the Caribbean and Mexico still have great weather in the late spring, but prices drop as U.S. tourists have stopped thinking about escaping colder temperatures. Beyond the potential savings, you can also beat the crowds with this approach.
• Smart credit: Maximize savings by using a credit card that provides cash back or miles on travel. The new, chip-enabled Sam’s Club MasterCard program offers five percent cash back on gas and three percent cash back on travel and dining purchases.
• Midweek flights: Choose to travel mid-week since Tuesdays and Thursdays are less expensive days to fly.
• Streamline your online search for deals: Book your vacation through a trusted travel aggregator that offers deals through a single hub. Booking transportation, hotels and attractions together saves time and provides deeper savings.
Members-only travel sites like Sam’s Club Travel offer serious savings, extremely broad selection and easy access with no external sites or pop-up windows. This site offers up to 50 percent off most hotels and up to 15 percent off other services, such as rental cars and theme parks. To learn more visit www.SamsClub.com/travel.
The U.S. Travel Association states that Americans left 429 million days of earned vacation days unused last year. It’s clear you deserve a vacation! Get smart about saving on travel and indulge in that much-needed getaway.
Photo Credit: (c) Andres Rodriguez - Fotolia.com