How to Travel Frugally
Is it time to take a trip?

Submitted by ltownsend on May 13, 2021

As vaccinations against COVID-19 become more prevalent, Americans are likely to resume spending money on something they largely haven’t in the past year – travel. 

couple traveling The spread of the coronavirus pandemic last year put an obvious damper on the usually lucrative travel industry of the U.S. In domestic travel, the United States saw a 40% drop in revenues from 2019 ($582 billion compared to $972 billion), according to Statista

The renewed urge to travel could put additional strain on American wallets that they haven’t felt in the past year. According to ValuePenguin, people spend an average of about $581 to go away for about four nights within the U.S. Recently the European Union announced that American tourists who have been fully vaccinated against Coved-19 will be able to visit over the summer. And the average cost of international travel is about $3,250 for a typical 12- to 13-night trip abroad. 

How to travel frugally

If you’ve got the travel bug, don’t worry – a vacation away doesn’t have to break the bank! Here are some suggestions for frugal travel from the Travel Channel

  1. Travel during the off-season – Tours, lodging and even food is often discounted during the travel “off-seasons.” Consider trekking through Europe in the winter or visiting the Caribbean during the summer months (although this is considered hurricane season – so travel with caution). 
  2. Fly on an off-peak day or time – Flights generally cost much less on a Monday or Tuesday than they do on Thursdays or Fridays. Also keep in mind that the second flight of the day is less expensive than the first.
  3. Skip hotels – Sometimes, hotel rates can skyrocket. If that’s the case, consider finding lodging through an app such as Airbnb, which can sometimes save you money while also giving you more space and amenities.
  4. Avoid renting a car – Make a point of researching your destination’s public transportation or ridesharing app capabilities ahead of time. Usually, utilizing these options can save you money over renting a car. When possible, opt to walk around your destination. There’s no better way to explore a new city – and you’ll skip paying for transportation all together.   
  5. Eat a fancy lunch – If you’re planning to have one “fancy” meal a day on your vacation, make that meal lunch rather than dinner. Many restaurants have lunch dishes similar or identical to their dinner menus for a little cheaper. In Europe, multi-course lunch specials are common and don’t cost much.  

Place your travel alerts on your accounts!

One more item to remember before your trip, along with packing your bags and stopping the mail, is adding travel alerts on your debit and credit cards with your financial institution. This lets them know you are traveling, and can eliminate red flags for fraudulent use. This allows worry-free use during your journey and avoids any unwanted blocking on your accounts by your card provider.  For Skyward accounts, it’s as simple as going to Online Banking  and clicking on Card Management under Services. Tap on Travel Notification and enter your information. You can also call us at 833-759-1941 or send us a message in Online Banking to place travel alerts on your account.