If Thanksgiving weekend was any indication, Americans are definitely starting to travel again— despite new COVID concerns.
But does that mean a family vacation will cost you a bundle? It doesn't have to.
Plane ticket prices are now well above their 2020 pandemic lows.
Ways to keep costs down
Robin Saks Frankel is with Forbes Advisor. She says the deals are there, but people have to be a little creative this year.
"So instead of going to Miami," she said about springtime travel, "maybe you want to go to a small town in the Florida panhandle, for example, that doesn't have as much hustle and bustle."
Frankel advises people to travel at less popular times of the year.
"You know, instead of skiing between Christmas to New Year's, maybe you want to go in March," she said.
People should be prepared to pay more expensive prices for popular spots, just like during pre-pandemic times.
"Hotels that were normally, you know, maybe in the low hundreds for a night are now going for two and three times that because the demand is definitely there," Frankel said.
What to know about insurance
Travel insurance is always offered, but is it worth the extra cash?
"Domestically, your health insurance should cover you for most of the things that you come across," Frankel said. "If you're leaving the U.S., it's probably a good idea to get travel insurance."
That's because many U.S. health care plans may not cover hospitals in Mexico or other countries. Frankel said it's a good idea to check with your insurer before you travel internationally. Supplemental international coverage may cost an additional $100, but can be well worth it.
What about insurance to cover you in case you are diagnosed with COVID and cannot go? Look for "cancel for any reason" insurance, as a basic policy may not protect you from known events such as COVID.
So pack your bags, try to travel during off-peak weeks, and seek out those less-traveled destinations.
That way you can keep those hotel rooms and airfares affordable, don’t waste your money.
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