A man and woman sitting at the edge of a pool outside their room in a luxury hotel.

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Talk about bad news at a time when everyday costs are also up.

Key points

  • The U.S. just eased travel restrictions for overseas flights.
  • That could lead to an uptick in demand — and higher prices to boot.
  • Ways to save include traveling in late summer, avoiding hotels, and using a travel rewards card.

Traveling during the pandemic hasn’t been easy. That’s because up until recently, you had to present a negative COVID-19 test in order to enter the U.S. That meant if you contracted COVID-19 overseas, you risked having to quarantine for a period of time.

But now, the requirement to present a negative COVID-19 test result has been lifted for travelers coming into the U.S. And that alone could make it easier for more people to travel this summer.

That’s both a good thing and a bad one.

On a positive note, fewer restrictions could help travelers minimize their stress and avoid the financial losses that could result from having to alter their itineraries. On a negative note, the more demand there is for any given luxury, the more its price has the potential to climb. And so now, travelers might rush to book flights and lodging this summer, making it more expensive at a time when the cost of travel already tends to be elevated.

If you’re hoping to do your fair share of travel this summer, you may be worried about rising costs. But here are a few good ways to save.

1. Wait till the start of the school year

Many schools resume classes in August or early September. Meanwhile, the weather tends to be mild well into September in many parts of the U.S. and abroad. And so if you don’t have kids and are able to book travel for the first half of September, you might spend less — and have fewer crowds to battle.

2. Choose private rental homes over hotels

Staying at a hotel can end up being an expensive prospect if your family is larger. In that case, you might need to book several rooms or upgrade to a suite. And since hotel rooms usually aren’t equipped with kitchens, you’ll also need to pay a premium for meals.

If you book a private rental home, you might end up with a lot more space for a lot less money. Just as importantly, if you have access to a kitchen, you’ll have the option to prepare your own meals rather than have to buy each and every one from a restaurant or cafe.

Granted, if you’re visiting a foodie destination, dining out may be part of the fun. And that’s okay, as long as you budget for it. But if you’re not looking to overspend on food during your travels, then a private vacation rental may be your best option.

3. Use the right credit card for your bookings

If you’ll be taking some flights this summer (or hope to book some), putting your reservations on a travel rewards credit card could work to your benefit. These cards commonly offer money-saving perks like free checked bags on domestic flights and discounts on in-flight purchases. Plus, you might get a decent amount of protection from a travel rewards card in case your flights are delayed or your luggage is lost or damaged.

The fact that travel restrictions are easing is a mixed bag. But that’s the reality, so it’s best to prepare for higher costs — and do what you can to save as much money as possible in the course of your vacation plans.

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