3 Mistakes You Might Make While Booking Summer Travel

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  • It's important to use the right credit card when arranging travel so you can maximize your savings.
  • You should also pay attention to hotel cancellation policies and seat-choosing options when booking a flight.

Summer tends to be a popular time to travel. The weather's warm, school's out for numerous weeks, and for some people, work tends to slow down to the point where it isn't stressful to miss a bunch of days.

You may be eager to get away on a vacation this summer. But here are three mistakes you'll want to steer clear of in the course of arranging your summer travel.

1. Not using a travel rewards card to book your trip

Recent research from The Ascent found that 32% of Americans have a travel rewards credit card. If you have one of these cards, it pays to use it to book your travel. And if you don't have a travel rewards credit card, you may want to get one before locking in your itinerary.

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It's common for travel rewards credit cards to offer money-saving benefits like free checked bags on domestic flights and discounts on in-flight purchases. Also, these cards might offer added protection in the event that your luggage is lost or stolen.

Plus, you might score added cash back with a travel rewards card on everything from lodging to entertainment to restaurant meals. So before you use any old credit card to book your flight, as well as the other components of your trip, see what using a travel rewards card might do for you instead.

2. Booking lodging without flexible cancellations

Many travelers prefer to book accommodations through sites like Airbnb because the idea of renting a private home is more appealing than cramming into a small hotel room. And in some cases, going with a private rental could also be cheaper.

But one thing you don't necessarily want to do is book lodging that doesn't offer a flexible cancellation policy. If something happens at the last minute and you need to change your plans, you could end up being out a lot of money if you don't have the ability to cancel for a refund.

Generally speaking, you'll get more leeway to cancel your booking with a hotel than with a private property. But even within the hotel category, each property has its own policy, so you'll want to see what options you have.

3. Booking flights where you can't choose your seat

If you're taking a one-hour flight and you're traveling solo, it may not matter to you where you sit on the airplane. And so in that case, buying a lower-tier fare could make sense.

But if you're traveling with family or are going a longer distance, then it could be well worth it to pay extra for the ability to choose a seat. In the case of traveling with kids, it might be a major hassle and source of stress to be separated from them. And even if you're solo, if you're six feet tall and are scheduled for a five-hour flight, getting stuck in a middle seat could be a source of physical discomfort. And that's not a great way to start out a trip.

You may be getting excited at the idea of taking a trip this summer. But do your best to avoid these blunders so you're able to truly enjoy the experience and reap the most savings along the way.

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