35% of Americans plan to travel more in 2022. Here’s how to make it more affordable

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Many people want to take additional trips this year. Here’s how to remove it.


Key points

  • Many Americans aim to travel more in 2022 than they have in recent years.
  • Planning ahead and using the right credit card can save you money on your trip and prevent you from going into debt.

Many people gave up traveling in 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic broke out and vaccines were not yet available. As travel resumed in 2021, many people’s plans were first thwarted by the emergence of the delta variant over the summer and then by omicron during the holiday season.

If you hope to travel more in 2022, you should be prepared to pay. These days, just about everything costs more money thanks to inflation. Between that and the potential for strong demand, travel could become a costlier prospect this year. But don’t worry, there are steps you can take to travel without emptying your savings account or racking up debt.

In a survey conducted in late December by Ally Bank, 35% of Americans said they wanted to travel more this year. Lindsey Bell, Head of Markets and Currency Strategist at Ally Bank, has some tips for planning your next trip on the cheap.

1. Plan ahead

There is often money to be saved on travel if you organize yourself and plan your plans in advance. Bell says, “Consider booking summer flights three months or more in advance, and if you know your destination, you could take advantage of airline tickets with record prices early this year.”

Of course, there is a danger in booking plans too far in advance. If your circumstances change, you may need to alter your plans or your itinerary, which could result in financial loss. But if you’re fixated on a specific destination – say, you have family across the country that you know you’ll be visiting this summer – then it’s worth booking flights in advance.

You should also take advantage of cheap hotel rates and book them in advance. Often, hotels offer flexible cancellation policies, so there’s not much to lose by locking in rates when they’re more affordable.

2. Fly strategically

Many people are working remotely these days and have more flexibility with their schedules. If that’s you, this could really work to your advantage when booking a trip. As Bell puts it, “Flying earlier in the week (or traveling on weekdays instead of weekends) can also mean better deals.”

Suppose you want to visit friends for a holiday weekend. Leaving on a Friday and returning on a Monday can mean paying a small fortune for a flight. But if you have the option of flying out on a Wednesday, working remotely the rest of the week, and then flying home on Tuesday, your flight could cost a lot less.

3. Use the right credit cards

Using the right credit cards to book your trips could result in significant savings. If you have a travel rewards credit card, for example, you might be eligible for economic perks like free checked baggage on flights. Plus, the right credit card could make it easier to get bonus miles or hotel points that you can redeem for free flights or stays.

The right credit card could also offer some protection in case your plans change or go wrong. Bell says, “Check out the benefits your credit card can offer for rentals, insurance coverage, and other things.”

That said, if you’re traveling this year, it might also be a good idea to purchase travel insurance. Having a policy in place could give you more leeway to cancel or adjust plans as needed.

No matter what your travel plans look like this year, it pays to do whatever you can to save money while you’re making them. These tips could help you do more, see more, and enjoy more in 2022.

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