The onset of the pandemic in early 2020 abruptly forced most people to make significant changes to their travel plans, either by revamping, rescheduling, postponing, or even outright cancelling their trips, and many have not been able to travel for a while. The good news is that things are changing for the better and travel is expected to return in a big way this summer. Warmer weather and time off from schools after a year of rescheduling and cancelling plans is likely to result in a high demand for escapes to much-needed fun and relaxation. There is no doubt about it, we are all ready to get back out into the world and travel again so don’t be surprised to see fully-booked tours, hotels, and car rentals this summer. Many places have also had to increase their prices in an effort to recoup some of their lost revenue from the lack of travel and tourism, so continue reading to learn how you can save a few dollars on your next adventure.
Keep in mind fares will always go up during the summer months, but they could be even higher than normal this year. If summer fares are out of your budget, consider waiting to travel until the fall. Off-season travel can save money, offer more flexibility, and popular places are less congested, all of which can result in a better traveling experience. Generally speaking, where you go, when you go, and when you book will determine your prices. Hooper or Scott’s Cheap Flights are some great flight racking services that will alert you when a good airfare deal is available for your preferred destination. Bundle deals can also provide additional savings. If the flight, hotel, and car are each very expensive on their own, look for bundles and packages. Some airlines like JetBlue Vacations offer added savings when you bundle.
Many rental car companies are currently experiencing a vehicle shortage. Try to book a car rental today and most likely you’ll notice that prices have skyrocketed and car choices are limited. Autoslash, a car rental site that tracks car rental prices, explains that “this is because the pandemic forced many rental car companies to unload their inventory when demand dropped by 90 percent.” As more people are vaccinated and eager to travel again, car rental companies simply cannot keep up with the demand. Lots of people are moving from the city to the suburbs and renting cars to get around which has taken cars out of the lots for vacation renters, and people are also taking longer trips and more road trips than normal, which ties up inventory as well. If you do manage to find a car, expect to pay more for the rental – especially in remote locations. Signing up for and joining rental car loyalty programs in advance may help expedite the process at rental counters, provide discounts, and save you some unnecessary headaches. If you are in desperate need of a vehicle or seeking a last-minute car rental, check out peer-to-peer car rentals such as Turo, Getaround, or Avail.
Now that hotels feel safer and people are ready to mingle with others, there may be a surge in hotel prices. New hotels may offer the best deals right now as hotel managers are eager to fill rooms and receive great reviews from guests. Additionally, there should be fewer fears regarding cleanliness since everything is essentially new. As always, shop around for summer deals and specials, and make strategic choices when it comes to booking hotels. Rates are generally less expensive the farther away you get from airports, downtown areas, and tourist attractions. Flexibility can also help you save more money as you may find a better deal one or two days before or after your original travel dates. Finally, call hotels directly and ask about current available deals or specials. You may be able to get more bang for your buck just by simply asking.