Want to Travel More in 2022? 3 Moves to Make

A couple walks to their flight in the sunshine.

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Get ready to pack your bags and explore.

Key points

  • Nearly a quarter of Americans have resolved to travel more in 2022.
  • Boosting your income and using credit cards strategically could help you achieve that goal.

A lot of people cut back on travel in 2020 due to the pandemic. And while things picked up in 2021, some would-be trip-takers continued to scale back due to health concerns or financial constraints. But come 2022, 24% of Americans want to travel more, according to a recent Bank of America survey. If you have a similar goal, here are some key steps to take.

1. Research your trips in advance

The cost of travel a few years ago may not mimic the cost today. Not only might you pay more for a flight or hotel, but COVID-19 testing requirements could make it so you're facing higher out-of-pocket expenses.

If you know you want to do a bunch of travel in 2022, start pricing out various trips at the start of the year so you know what costs to anticipate. That said, COVID-related rules can change quickly, so as you establish your travel budget, be sure to build in some room for flexibility.

2. Boost your income with a side gig

Even if you're the type to travel frugally -- meaning, fly economy and stay at basic hotels instead of luxury ones -- you might still end up spending a lot on your trips. So having extra money in your bank account probably wouldn't hurt.

That's where the right side hustle can come in handy. If you pick up a second job, you'll have an opportunity to boost your income in a meaningful way. And since that extra money won't be earmarked for existing bills, you can use it to fund whatever trips you have planned.

3. Apply for the right credit cards

The right credit cards could make travel more affordable in a number of ways. First, if you snag a new credit card with a sign-up bonus, you can score a lump sum of cash for the purchases you were already planning to make.

For example, you may come across an offer of $250 cash back for spending $1,500 within three months of opening a given card. If you normally charge at least $500 a month, that shouldn't be a tough bonus to claim. If that idea appeals to you, take a look at some of our favorite sign-up bonus credit cards.

What's more, if you're able to capitalize on generous rewards programs, you can score points or cash back that can be applied to your travels. Some credit cards, for example, give extra cash back on gas. If you tend to fill up a lot, you can bank that cash back and apply it to a trip.

It also pays to apply for a travel rewards credit card if you think you'll be venturing out a lot in 2022. Many travel rewards cards offer perks like free checked bags when you're boarding a plane. And some make it easier to rack up hotel points or air miles so you're more likely to score free lodging or flights.

Traveling more in 2022 is not only a popular goal, but a fun one. And if you've laid low on the travel front over the past couple of years, then you may be especially eager to get out and see new places. We don't exactly know what travel has in store in 2022 due to the ever-changing pandemic. But the more you prepare logistically and financially, the greater your chances of being able to reach the top destinations on your list.

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