Black travelers spent $129.6 billion on domestic and international travel during 2019, according to The Black Traveler report. If your next destination requires a passport upon entry, The Department of State Travel provides a wealth of information on how to travel and protect your money, health, safety and security.
Your preferred mode of transportation can not only save you money but also allow for maximizing time while someone else does the steering. See the list of non-stop destinations from Cincinnati:
Nonstop Air Travel Destinations from the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport
Train Travel Destinations on the Amtrak Network from the Cincinnati Museum Center
Bus Travel Destinations on Greyhound Bus Service from Downtown Cincinnati
The following tips will ensure you do not break the bank during your next trip when traveling by plane, train, bus or automobile. Remember to plan your itinerary and to book long ahead of time in order to get the best experience possible. If you are going to spend money on a trip to your dream destination, you might as well get the best bang for your buck:
- Reserve a rental car before booking travel plans – Hertz, Avis, Budget and Enterprise sold off inventory during the pandemic. Rental cars are scarce, options are limited, and prices have increased. Also, consider picking up your vehicle from an off-airport location near your hotel to save approximately 15% on taxes and fees. Some travelers have resorted to renting non-traditional travel vehicles such as U-Haul and other light-commercial modes of transportation during their travels. Autoweek offers more details about renting automobiles.
- Redeem frequent traveler rewards and credits – Frequent flyers often have a stockpile of sky miles, hotel points and rental car vouchers. Leisure tourists usually prefer to earn travel rewards for day-to-day credit card purchases, and most businesses in the hospitality industry offered credits for canceled vacations. These travel rewards might yield free, reduced price or upgraded accommodations for your next destination. Travel and Leisure offers more information about airline miles redemption mistakes.
- All weekdays are not created equal – The cheapest days to travel are Tuesdays or Wednesdays, depending on the route and mode of transportation. Other more affordable travel days are Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Depending on the carrier, the most expensive days for traveling are typically Fridays and Sundays. TSA offers more travel tips.
- Early birds and night owls typically secure the cheapest travel costs – Early morning and late evening trips are usually less expensive than trips scheduled during the middle of the day. If time permits, travelers can also receive compensation, credits, upgrades, accommodations and meals when willing to give up their seat on an overbooked carrier in airports, buses, or other public transportation!
- Pack your lunch – When traveling by plane, train, bus or car, bring a lunch and snacks before you leave for healthier and cheaper meal options. Read more about Healthy Foods to Pack When You Travel.
- Use hotel ground transportation when flying – See if your hotel offers free ground transportation to and from the nearest airport instead of paying for taxis, rideshares like Uber or Lyft, tolls and airport driver fees.
- Beware of the hotel minibar – Weary travelers can be tempted by the readily available chocolate bars, cookies, potato chips, wine, soda and bottled water. These comfort foods are usually marked up 3-4 times the usual price and will drastically increase the price of a hotel stay. Save money by picking up a few groceries at a local market to have in your hotel room during your vacation.
- Before you go, count the cost – When planning a trip, be sure to budget for the cost of transportation (airfare, train or bus ticket), parking at the airport, rental car and gas, lodging, tolls, food and tips (maid service, baggage attendants, bartenders). These travel costs do not include enjoyable activities like shopping and entertainment while traveling.
- Consider travel insurance – Understand which aspects of the trip are refundable and coverage provided by the credit cards used to pay for travel and accommodations. Remember, U.S.-based health insurance policies offer coverage only within the United States. Get protected before you travel the world. Learn more at the United States Travel Insurance Association.
- Save for future travel – Establish a travel savings account to protect against going into debt when planning the next getaway or dream vacation.
Still unsure about traveling? The Better Business Bureau offers a list of travel tips for best travel practices to stay informed and prepared whether you’re traveling abroad or to somewhere you’ve never been. From travel scams and schemes to tips on saving money and getting your passport the BBB Travel Tips have it all.
Uncomfortable about traveling during COVID-19? Learn more about domestic and international travel such as entry laws, mask requirements, what areas have high covid rates, and more!
Al Riddick is President of Game Time Budgeting, an award-winning financial fitness company that helps others develop behaviors to improve their short- and long-term financial outcomes. He is the author of The Uncommon Millionaire and two workbooks: The Uncommon Millionaire’s Guide to Financial Fitness and Money $mart Teens. Also, Al has been featured on NerdWallet, in Black Enterprise and Money magazines, on radio and ABC, CBS and NBC affiliated television stations.
Travel Tips photo provided by © [Alexander Image] /Adobe Stock
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