How to save during a busy, expensive season


Global Courant 2023-05-07 19:00:01

Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

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The following is an excerpt from “This week, your wallet,” a weekly Twitter audio show produced by CNBC’s Personal Finance team. Listen to the latest episode here.

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Cost has been off the charts for many aspects of travel this year.

Why? Americans are jet-setting again — especially to overseas destinations in Europe and Asia — after a few years of pandemic-era travel delays.

“In my 19 years in the industry, this is by far the busiest year I’ve ever had,” said Jessica Griscavage, a travel consultant and founder of Runway travel.

Here are some insights and ways to save on your trip, shared during a recent conversation with Griscavage, CNBC aviation reporter Leslie Josephs, and CNBC associate personal finance editor Ken Kiesnoski about summer travel.

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1. Be flexible

Staying flexible about when – and even where – you travel can save you big.

Traveling during the week as opposed to the weekend is usually a savings. Instead of a big city, maybe consider something a little more off the beaten path.

Of course, not everyone has this luxury. Parents may be obligated to school schedules; others may also be tied to rigid schedules.

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Travelers with some leeway can use tools such as Google flights And To discover to discover good travel deals throughout the year, based on factors such as departure city and destination.

It’s a plug-and-play technique that’s “a little art and a little science,” Kiesnoski said.

Airline tickets are generally the first thing people buy, and accommodations such as hotel rooms often follow from there. Travelers can consult other online portals, including,, Airbnb, Expedia and Orbitz.

2. Travel out of season

This is an offshoot of the “flexibility” category.

For many popular destinations, especially those in the Northern Hemisphere, demand peaks in June, July and August. Until then, airline officials have indicated in the company’s earnings reports that they expect a “monster summer,” Josephs said.

But visiting a location in the fall or winter can save you money – and perhaps a better experience as crowds subside and it becomes easier to book must-see attractions.

“I think you’re going to enjoy it a bit more,” Griscavage said of off-season travel to popular cities.

3. Use your rewards

Many people have accumulated frequent flyer miles during the pandemic by using their credit cards that accrue travel rewards, Josephs said.

Now’s a great time to use those perks — not hoard them — especially since it’s expensive to buy a flight with cash.

4. Take advantage of credit card benefits

Credit cards — especially those geared toward travel — can include perks, such as travel or rental car insurance. You may qualify for those benefits if you purchase all or part of a trip with that card.

What that means: For example, you may not need to take out additional insurance.

“Always check with your credit cards and see how good the insurance is,” Griscavage said.

It’s important to ask certain questions, such as whether the benefits of a card cover pre-existing medical conditions during a trip.

How to save during a busy, expensive season

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