Spring Travel Savings From Credit Card Spending
In many parts of the country, parents are planning their kids’ spring breaks, while other Americans — housebound thanks to snowdrifts and sub-zero temps — will be scouring the internet for last-minute trips to sandy beaches and remote islands.
If you’re seeking spring travel savings, using these strategies and credit card perks— from planning beforehand to while you’re on the road — can help offset the cost of travel.
Choosing your destination
When you’re looking for savings, start by looking for the right destination. While your mind may instantly go to the popular spring break spots and tourist traps, do a little extra digging to find similar locales that won’t break the bank.
Dying to go to Mexico this spring? That doesn’t have to mean you have to join the crowds in Cancun, historically one of the most in-demand destinations for spring breakers. By choosing a less popular alternative like Playa del Carmen, for instance, you can not only enjoy thinner crowds but also save on accommodations and activities.
As always, it pays to do a little extra research. Sink some extra time into finding a similar experience — just without the household name — and you can enjoy big spring travel savings while still enjoying a great vacation
Let everyday purchases pay for your trip
Using cards that give extra points or rewards for dollars spent on lodging and other purchases can help defray the cost of travel with the click of the “purchase” button.
That’s because, depending on the card, you can accrue points to put toward your springtime stay with purchases made throughout the year by redeeming the rewards as a statement credit for travel purchases.1 Or, you can use your card while traveling, to pay for everything from your room to meals to spa services and amenities, and get a certain amount of cash back, depending on the terms offered.
With the Discover it® Miles card, for example, earn 1.5 Miles for every dollar spent on all purchases made on the card and the Miles never expire.1 And Discover offers a variety of cash back cards, depending on your spending habits.
Booking your travel
It’s just the same when you’re booking your spring travel. Flexibility and the right planning both go a long way when trying to find savings. For starters, you should avoid waiting until the last minute to book everything from flights to excursions. If you can, book airfare at least three months in advance to enjoy the most spring travel savings.
On top of this, you can also save by booking your trip for the right dates. While you may be tempted to maximize your time away and leave at the beginning of a weekend, you can save with a little flexibility. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays are usually the cheapest days to fly domestically, while international jaunts are generally best started on a weekday.
Whether you’re looking to take in a spa day or take in the sights while snorkeling, you can also save big while booking events and activities by doing so ahead of time. Keep an eye on sites like Groupon and Tripadvisor and snap up the best deals before they’re gone.
The savings don’t have to stop there, though. The right credit card perks can help you save even after your bags are packed.
At the airport
Today, it can feel as if airlines and airports, both big and small, are squeezing every penny from travelers, with add-ons for baggage and lounge use and charges for itinerary changes that can run up the price of a ticket into the hundreds of dollars. It doesn’t have to be that way if you have a credit card with perks that let you avoid all that.
Read the fine print and you may find that you have an airline credit card or airline miles credit card that offers you the ability to check your bags, free of charge or use a statement credit to cover the cost of your checked bag. Some cards allow just the cardholder to check a free bag, while others grant this perk to several more accompanying travelers. For frequent fliers, or large families traveling together on a spring vacation, these perks may outweigh other rewards and translate into more spring travel savings.
Not all credit cards offer these benefits, so check with your individual card issuer for details.
On the road
A host of perks may be available to those traveling abroad or on a road trip.
If you’re traveling by car, keep in mind that most rental car companies require you to provide a credit card when you pick up your car at your destination. With Discover, you don’t have to worry about getting stranded. Discover is accepted nationwide by 99% of the places that take credit cards.2
Also, it may be wise to use cash back bonus cards when it’s time to fill up at the gas station. That’s especially true if you earn cash back on every purchase you make on your credit card.
Follow these tips, and you’ll be on your way to a host of spring travel savings.
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