Here's How to Afford More Travel in 2023

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  • Travel is hardly an inexpensive prospect these days.
  • You can pull off more of it by working a second job, racking up cash back on your credit cards, and using a travel rewards card to trim your costs.

Indulge that wanderlust with these key tips.

If you're hoping to do your fair share of travel in 2023, you're not alone. A December survey by MMGY Travel Intelligence found that 58% of Americans had plans to take a vacation within six months -- despite the higher costs involved.

Of course, traveling can do a lot of great things for you. It can give you a chance to learn new things, enjoy mind-opening experiences, and get a much-needed escape from the daily grind. And so if you're eager to take more trips in 2023, here are some steps you can take to pull that off.

1. Work a side hustle

Not only has travel gotten expensive these days, but just about everything has, due to inflation. That means it may be harder to free up cash in your budget for travel purposes.

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That's where a side hustle could come in. If you're willing to work a second job, you may find that you have more money to spend on different trips without running the risk of landing in debt. In fact, you might even be able to combine your love of travel with your desire to boost your income by getting paid to write about different destinations on a freelance basis.

2. Bank your credit card cash back

If you use a credit card for everyday purchases like gas and groceries that puts cash back in your pocket, don't take the money and spend it every month. Instead, bank it, and reserve it for the next big trip you want to take.

At the same time, swipe your credit cards strategically. You may have one card that offers bonus cash back at the pump, and another that rewards you more generously for grocery store purchases. Pay attention to each card's rewards program so you can maximize those offers.

3. Use a travel rewards card to lower your costs

One of the reasons so many people struggle to afford travel is that the smaller expenses involved, like checked baggage fees, can add up. But if you use a travel rewards credit card to book your trips, you might save yourself a nice amount of money along the way. Many travel rewards cards let you check bags for free, and also offer discounts on in-flight purchases (which are sometimes unavoidable, such as if you didn't have time to stop for a meal before boarding).

Now, one thing you should know about travel rewards cards is that they commonly charge an annual fee. But in many cases, that fee can more than pay for itself, so crunch the numbers to see what makes sense. If you have to pay $100 for one of these cards, but you save $35 each time you're given a free checked bag, that card will pay for itself if you're boarding a plane three times a year or more.

Many people would love to get out and travel more this year. Higher costs across the board could make that challenging, but if you follow these tips, you may be surprised at how doable it is to get away on multiple occasions.

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