Friday, June 21, 2024

Affordable Summer Vacations 2024: How And Where To Travel For Less

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As Google reveals that one of its most popular travel search trends is currently ‘cheap summer vacations’, there are lots of ways that travelers can find ideas to travel for less.

This is particularly important as Bloomberg reports that the post-pandemic travel boom, merged with curbs on hotel construction, overtourism and restrictions on Airbnb in many cities, is sending hotel rates sky high, especially in Europe.

It’s also clear that travelers might be feeling the pinch. Vacasa, the home rental platform found that while 4th July and Memorial Day will be the big summer travel weekends, its poll suggests that some people have shifted their travel plans or planning behavior to be more budget conscious (81% of respondents), driven significantly by higher cost of living and inflation (74%).

Ways To Find Cheap Summer Vacations

Bloomberg recommends ignoring Instagram feeds for overhyped, over-expensive destinations and instead hitting places under the social radar for cheap summer vacations—in Italy, this might be the picturesque Costiera Cilentana, an hour from the Amalfi coast or the stylish but under-developed peninsula of Monte Argentario, just 90 minutes from Rome’s Fiumicino airport.

If Italy still seems like too much on the beaten European track, Romania’s travel star has been rising for a while, hot on the heels of the much-beloved (and still relatively cheap) Albania.

There are also alternatives to the hotel for cheap summer vacations. Bloomberg reports that European hotel rates have increased 50% since 2019, according to market researcher CoStar Group, so maybe a boat would be better value.

Alternatively, HomeExchange, the home swap website, allows members unlimited exchanges for only $220 per year, meaning you can travel relatively cheaply but also visit places that might not be quite so crowded this summer.

The U.K’s Telegraph also advocates finding some of the nicest youth hostels or staying in a mountain bothy in Britain—these are remote shelters in some of the most breathtaking hills and woods across the U.K. that are free to use for just an annual subscription of $32 from The Mountain Bothies Association. There are similar refuge schemes across Europe in the most spectacular places—many also run a basic menu for breakfast and dinner.

Change your mode of travel for cheap summer vacations. Though there are cheaper ways to fly (the London to New York route remains one of the most competitive, if you are available to fly at any time) but one of the most inexpensive ways to travel on holiday this summer might be by train.

The Telegraph lists several examples, notably Eurostar tickets if you book a long time in advance (around $50 one-way)—it’s sometimes easier to find deals if you book to Brussels and not London to Paris. The 51-hour rail journey from Chicago, Illinois to Emeryville, California can be had for just under $100 if booked in advance.

Inter-railing across Europe can be cost-effective or you can take the train on a 28-hour, 1,300-mile journey from New Delhi to Goa for just $13 (first class is only $67)—and it can cost less than a dollar to travel across parts of the Himalayas.

Change your mode of finance for cheap summer vacations. One final way of limiting the damage is to use multi-trip travel insurance (if you travel often) and definitely go for a bank card that doesn’t add on charges for overseas use and find one that charges lower fees when transfering between different exchange rates.

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