Traveling for Spring Break? 5 Tips to Score a Great Deal

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KEY POINTS

  • Travel volume over spring break is expected to exceed pre-pandemic levels.
  • This high demand will likely drive up costs on flights and hotels.
  • Shopping around is crucial to finding the lowest possible rates.

Enjoy your vacation without worrying about your budget.

After a few years of remaining close to home, people are eager to get back out and explore the world again. Travel volume for the spring break season, which goes from the middle of February until the middle of April, is expected to exceed pre-pandemic levels, according to the Transportation Security Administration.

But high demand usually leads to high prices, both on airlines and travel accommodations. Here are five tips you can use to score a good deal in the coming weeks.

1. Shop around

Compare prices from several airlines and hotel chains before you book anything. Don't be afraid to watch prices for a few days before you buy either. Rates fluctuate over time, and a better one could still come up.

If you have a hotel or airline credit card, you might feel like you have to remain loyal to that brand. Doing so could net you special perks, like priority boarding or even free stays. But you have to weigh that against the cost and availability that hotel or airline offers you to decide if that's the right move for you this time.

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2. Consider driving

Gas prices aren't as high as they were a few months ago, so driving could be a feasible option if you aren't traveling too far. It'll take longer to reach your destination, but you'll also have the opportunity to stop and see things you wouldn't have if you'd flown instead.

Again, you'll have to weigh this against the cost of a flight to decide whether it's worth it for you. You'll have the cost of gas and possibly some hotel stays and meals along the way. Plus, you may have less time at your final destination if you drive instead of fly.

3. Fly on weekdays

Weekends are some of the most popular days to fly, which also makes them some of the most expensive days to fly. Sometimes, all it takes to shave hundreds of dollars off your travel expenses is delaying your flight by a day or two.

Tuesday and Wednesday are the best days to fly if you're trying to keep costs low. With fewer people flying on these days, that could also make your journey through airport security a little easier.

4. Avoid checking bags

Traveling light could help you avoid fees for checked baggage. The savings might not be significant from doing this, but even if you only save a little, that's money you could put toward activities you enjoy at your final destination.

This may not be necessary, though, if you have an airline credit card that enables you to check bags for free. Check your card's terms to learn more about whether it offers this perk.

5. Look into alternative accommodations

Hotels are always an option, but these days, you may also want to look for short-term rentals in your final destination. These could be more affordable than a traditional hotel. Plus, they can make you feel more at home than you would in a cramped hotel room.

It's possible that a short-term rental could even save you money indirectly. If the place has a full kitchen, you may be able to cook meals in rather than going out for every meal. You may also be able to do laundry here, which could make it easier to pack light.

There's no time to waste if you haven't begun booking your spring break travel plans yet. The tips above may not all work for you. But do your best to incorporate as many as you can to see how much you can save.

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