5 Ways to Enjoy Your Dream Vacation Without Breaking the Bank

Monday, May 24, 2021
Car driving down a beach road

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.

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 alone (that’s Americans traveling around the U.S.), the United States brought in $972 billion in 2019, according to the most recent statistics from Statista. In 2020, Statista estimates that total dropped to $582 billion – a loss of $390 billion year-over-year. 

Statista predicts those numbers will increase gradually as Americans become more comfortable in a vaccinated world.  Estimates suggest domestic tourism travel spending will increase slowly at first to about $698 billion in 2021. By 2024, Statista predicts Americans will spend about $968 billion on domestic travel. 

That 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. 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

  • Travel during the off-season – Tours, lodging and even food are 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!) 
  • 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.  
  • 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. 
  • 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.   
  • 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.  

Spend Your Money Wisely

At La Capitol Federal Credit Union, we understand how rewarding a visit with family or just a trip to get away can be. We also want to help you achieve those dreams and keep money in your wallet. Check out our financial education resources so you can make the best decisions for your money.

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