Holiday travel will cost you a pretty penny this year

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Holiday Season

Prices are up, up, and away for both airline tickets and gas, with the latter at an all-time seasonal high. On top of that, travel expenses like rental cars and hotel rooms are up 12% and 46% respectively from pre-pandemic levels.

 

You probably already know why this is the case — supply chains, energy crises, and inflation comprise the simple explanation. So without further ado, let’s just dive into ways that you can save this holiday season.

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Ways to Save

One of the biggest ways to save on travel is to reduce the cost of your flights. If you’re traveling with family, finding cheaper tickets can save you hundreds of dollars, if not thousands, in one fell swoop.

 

To do so, it helps if your travel dates are flexible. To identify the cheapest travel dates, check out holiday outlook guides, like this one  from the travel app Hopper.

 

Additionally, when searching for flights, check the websites of different airlines, rather than relying on a flight aggregator. Low-cost carriers like Southwest (LUV), Allegiant Air (ALGT), Spirit (SAVE), and Frontier (ULCC) don’t always show up on aggregators like Kayak (BKNG) or Google Flights (GOOGL).

 

Also, toggling between one-way and roundtrip tickets is another way to uncover cheap flights that might be hidden.

 

If you plan on driving to your destination, apps such as GasBuddy will direct you to the cheapest gas near you. If you’re road-tripping, driving a little out of your way might help you save a lot of money.

Leverage Your Credit Card

Wracking up credit card debt on travel is rarely a good idea. However, credit cards can be powerful travel tools if leveraged correctly.

 

First, be sure to leverage your credit card’s rewards program to save on travel expenses. If it makes sense for you, you could also look at signing up for a new card if it offers a signup bonus. This is especially true for airline or hotel-specific cards. Many credit cards will even offer travel insurance, which can protect your trip from emergencies.

 

This holiday season might be pricier than normal across the board — but for the travel headache, at least, treatments exist.

 

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This article originally appeared on SoFi.com and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

 

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6 hidden travel fees you should never pay

 

If you’re planning to travel soon, you’re probably eager to get out of town, kick back and explore a new destination. But don’t be too quick to book the first flight or resort you find that offers a great price. The total cost may include hidden travel fees, also known as “drip pricing.”

 

Drip pricing is when hotels and other companies advertise a price that turns out to be only “part” of the full price. Then as you go through the booking process or after you check in, the business adds on more fees to bump up the total cost, sometimes substantially.

 

“Even when you carefully plan and budget for a vacation, additional travel expenses often crop up, thanks to a sneaky technique called drip pricing,” warns the Better Business Bureau (BBB), which offers these tips to avoid getting soaked by the hidden travel fees of drip pricing.

 

Find out: How to Vacation on a Budget as Costs Rise in 2022

 

Vladimir Vladimirov

 

Many hotels and resorts don’t list “destination” or “urban” fees prominently on their website, according to the BBB. Instead, you must click through several pages to find the total price.

 

To avoid paying resort fees, the best option is to avoid booking hotels or resorts that charge such fees. Another way to avoid resort fees is to charge enough on a hotel-brand credit card to earn “elite” or another status that waives resort fees on hotel and resort stays.

 

Find out: 6 Tips for Saving Money on Summer Vacation Travel

 

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Hidden city taxes can ratchet up the total cost on a hotel or resort. “Some cities charge hotel or hospitality taxes, which aren’t included in the hotel’s nightly rate,” says the BBB. “Check the total amount you’ll be charged before paying to see if you are charged any extra taxes.

 

Find out: Tips That Can Help Save You Money on Your Next Vacation

 

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Just because a hotel or resort advertises “shuttle service to the airport” doesn’t mean you’re getting a free ride. Call the hotel and make sure the shuttle service is free before booking. If there’s a fee for the shuttle service, compare the price with what you’d pay for Uber or Lyft.

 

You may be better off booking a rideshare service to and from the airport.

 

Find out: The Cost of Driving vs Flying

 

Joe_Potato

 

It makes sense to assume that when a hotel or resort advertises parking on the premises, you can park your car for free. However, that’s not always the case.

 

“Not all hotels offer free parking, so ensure this is included before you book, especially in high-traffic areas with limited parking space,” advises the BBB.

 

DepositPhotos.com

 

When you see photos on a hotel’s website of guests lounging on cabana-covered beach chairs, you may assume that’s just one of many luxury amenities included in the rate. That assumption that all amenities are included can cost you more than you planned for your travel budget, however.

 

Some hotels charge fees that boost the total price of the stay for amenities like a continental breakfast, poolside towels, in-room snacks, and early check-in, according to the BBB.

 

Find out: Practical Ways to Save Money During Your Next Vacation

 

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If you book a flight with an airline that advertises no cancellation fees, don’t simply assume that the airline will refund your ticket price if you cancel. For example, Southwest Airlines doesn’t charge cancellation fees. Instead, the airline credits the amount that you can use when you book future flights.

 

Find out the specifics — including whether the voucher or credit for canceling must be used within a certain time frame — of an airline’s cancellation policy before booking.

 

This article originally appeared on Debt.com and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

 

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Featured Image Credit: Manuel Faba Ortega / iStock.

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