7 ways to save money on travel this fall

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It was the summer when everyone decided to travel again. Sixty percent of Americans had plans for a summer vacation, according to a 2022 Summer Travel Survey by Deloitte. And good for them. After being locked down for over two years due to the pandemic, we all deserved a well deserved getaway.

But my God, this vacation was hard earned this year. With gas prices soaring, car trips were expensive. With limited flights, expensive airline tickets, and frequent flight delays and cancellations, flights were hectic. Airline ticket prices this summer were the highest on record for the past five years, according to Hopper, a flight price tracking application. Once at your destination, limited staff and large crowds often meant more waiting in queues. Employment in the leisure and hospitality sector is still below its February 2020 level of 7.1%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In short, high fuel prices, labor shortages, and post-pandemic wanderlust created a perfect storm. “Travel this summer required a lot of flexibility and creativity, giving a whole new meaning to the requirement for a sense of adventure,” says Mollie Krengel, founder of wild assa platform for organized travel guides.

Summer, however, is still the busiest and most expensive time to travel. But fall? This is when you can expect fewer crowds and more savings. “With so much demand and chaos in the travel industry this summer, the good news is that we are seeing flight prices drop for the fall, which is a relief for people who have been shocked by the prices ‘they saw this summer,” says Melanie Lieberman. , global features editor at The dot guy, a travel information site. “We encourage travelers to think of places that aren’t typically fall destinations. If you’re ok with traveling out of season, you can get a better deal.

Here are some budget tips for traveling this fall and early winter, along with some ideas for where to go.

1. Book in advance

The old adage of travel still holds true: don’t wait until the last minute to book, because you’ll likely be hit with the highest prices and lowest inventory. So plan ahead. “Be pro-active. Track flights and set alerts to see if the price has dropped,” says Lieberman. Airline ticket search engine sites like Skyscanner, Scott’s Cheap Flightsand SkiPlagged can help you narrow down the best airfares to your destination or help you choose a destination with the best deals.

Ditto for accommodation: book in advance to benefit from the best rates. “We recommend planning your accommodation well in advance, as last-minute bookings tend to be more expensive and harder to find,” says Kristen Bor, founder of the bear foot theory, an outdoor and travel blog. At Hotel Zagsin downtown Portland, Oregon, mark the Book early, stay late package, and if you make your reservation at least five days in advance, you will receive a 15% discount on the nightly rate and a late check-out at 2 p.m. (You can also borrow a bicycle, fishing rod, or yoga mat from the hotel’s gear shed in the lobby.)

2. Be flexible with your dates

“If you can, play around with arrival and departure dates, because that’s where you can unlock the biggest deals,” Lieberman says. If you are looking for flights on Kayakfor example, the site will show you price ranges for different dates, so you can select the cheapest days to travel.

Sometimes the longer you stay the better the rate. In Austin, TX, rates are automatically reduced when you book three or more nights at Heywood Hotel; even at carpenter hotelwhich offers you 15% off your rate if you book three nights or more. probea room rental site with well-designed hotel-style rooms for rent everywhere from New Orleans to Barcelona, ​​encourages longer stays by offering 25% off if you stay a week and up to 40% if you stay Longer.

Charming houseswhich lists unique vacation rentals around the world, has a spy deals, offering special long-term rates and last-minute discounts. For example, stay at this eclectic home in Granada, Nicaraguathrough Boutique Homes, and you’ll get 10% off the $270 per night rate if you stay a week.

3. Take a road trip

The best way to save on airfare prices? Conduct. Yes, petrol is expensive too, but try to hire an electric car or don’t travel too far from home. “Consider renting an RV for your trip. It will give you a taste of life in a van, and depending on the region and the length of your road trip, renting a motorhome can still be cheaper than booking a hotel every night,” explains Bor. “Campgrounds are much cheaper than hotels or Airbnbs.”

Outsidethe site for renting motorhomes and motorhomes between individuals, now offers Mobile travel insurance and a new option to pay your rental in four interest-free installments. If you drive an RV or RV, consider joining an RV club like Welcome boondockers Where Harvest Hoststhat you’ll pay an annual fee, and then you’ll have unlimited access to stay for free at host properties across the country.

Don’t want to camp? Its good. New Hotel evowhich opened in Salt Lake City, Utah, in February, currently has a road trip package, where if you book a room at the hotel and drive there, they will give you $50 gas credit with your room. “To help you find the cheapest gasoline while traveling, the Gas Buddy app is a must,” adds Bor. “Pro tip: Gas prices tend to go up on weekends and holidays, so filling up on Mondays rather than Sundays will help you save some pennies.”

4. Go further

Be prepared to explore off the beaten path for the best deal and experience. “When you find dark places, you can find better deals and cooler places with fewer people,” says Krengel. “Any change of scenery does wonders for our mental health, for disconnecting from everyday life. Try renting a small house on a small lake a few hours from your home. You don’t have to go far or spend so much to give yourself this getaway experience.

Say, instead of going to Vermont for fall foliage in October—where prices and crowds will be at their peak—think, say, West Virginia, which has some great fall hikes, some of the best white water rafting in the country and better offers. . After Labor Day until the end of October, the Summersville Dam spills from Summersville Lake into the Gauley River, creating what is known as the Gauley Season. Gorge Adventures organizes day trips to Upper and Lower Gauley.

5. Consider alternative accommodation

Like airfare prices, accommodation rates have also increased. You can get hotel deals through the same booking sites that let you buy flights, sites like Kayak, ExpediaWhere Monondo. There may be economic advantages to booking a Airbnb, too. “Booking a rental property can be a great way to save not only on the price per night, but if you have a kitchen, you’re not paying to go out for every meal,” Lieberman says. “But be careful on vacation rental sites and be sure to click through and see the total, as there are cleaning fees and other charges that you may not see in your original room rate .”

If you’re ready to consider more rustic or unique accommodations, check out sites like hip camp, GlampingHubWhere to use Airbnb’s camping filter. You can stay in a cottage in the middle of an organic farm in Ohio for $99 a night, via Hipcamp, or a small house in the mountains of colorado for $175 a night, through Airbnb. Or stay for free by becoming an approved house sitter at TrustedHousesittersor sleep in a old fire watchtower in the desert for next to nothing.

6. Combine your booking

Remember, your time is valuable, so spending hours researching a lot isn’t always in your best interest. “Sign up for email from your favorite airlines or travel sites and you’ll hear about travel packages they offer to certain destinations that might include airfare and hotel,” Krengel says. “Think of the time you save if you don’t have to spend hours researching and booking.”

If you book a flight with Haha Airlinesa low-cost airline and an adventure company, you can also book visits and activities, such as sailing cruises, guided hikes or brewery tours in your destination, and get 15% off fares. Aha a big offers on flights to Nevada’s Reno-Tahoe Airport, starting at $39 each way from select cities. Once there, book a chic room coachman’s hotel in South Lake Tahoe, Calif., where rooms start at $139 a night if you go midweek in the fall, compared to weekend rates that cost double that.

7. Insure your trip

“Get a bargain, but remember to protect the money you invest in travel,” Lieberman says. “You’ll be glad you did if you need to change your booking.” Lieberman recommends getting travel insurance whether you’re taking a big international trip or just going away for the weekend. You may want to consider “trip cancellation for any reason” insurance, which typically reimburses up to 75% of your non-refundable travel costs if you need to cancel within a certain number of days. seven corners has affordable travel insurance, or check out Insure my trip shop around for the best travel insurance deal.

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