This is how you save in a busy and expensive season

Amsterdam, Netherlands.

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The following is an excerpt from “This Week, Your Wallet,” a weekly audio show on Twitter produced by CNBC’s Personal Finance team. Listen to the latest episode Here.

Costs have been exceptionally high in many aspects of travel this year.

Why? After a few years of travel delays during the pandemic, Americans are jet-setting again – particularly to overseas destinations in Europe and Asia.

“In my 19 years in the industry, this is by far the busiest year I’ve ever had,” said Jessica Griscavage, travel consultant and founder of runway travel.

Here are some insights and ways to save on your trip that we shared in a recent conversation with Griscavage, CNBC airline reporter Leslie Josephs, and CNBC assistant finance editor Ken Kiesnoski about summer travel.

1. Be flexible

By staying flexible about when and even where you travel, you can make big savings.

Traveling during the week instead of at the weekend usually saves money. Instead of a big city, you might want to consider somewhere off the beaten track.

Of course, not everyone has that luxury. Parents may be tied to school schedules; others may be tied to rigid schedules as well.

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Travelers with some wiggle room can use tools like Google flights And Explore to discover good travel deals throughout the year based on factors such as origin and destination.

It’s a plug-and-play technique that’s “a little bit of art and a little bit of science,” Kiesnoski said.

Airfare is usually the first thing people buy, and accommodations like hotel rooms often follow from there. Travelers can consult other online portals, including,, Airbnb, Expedia and Orbitz.

2. Travel in the off-season

This is an offshoot of the Flexibility category.

For many popular travel destinations – particularly in the northern hemisphere – demand peaks in June, July and August. So far, airline officials have indicated in company earnings reports that they expect a “monster summer,” Josephs said.

But visiting a place in the fall or winter can result in savings — and potentially a better experience as crowds dwindle and it becomes easier to book must-see attractions.

“I think you’re going to enjoy it a little bit more,” Griscavage said of off-season trips to popular cities.

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3. Use your rewards

Many people have accumulated frequent flyer miles during the pandemic by using their credit cards, which offer travel award benefits, Josephs said.

Now is a good time to take advantage of these benefits and not hoard them, especially since it’s expensive to buy a flight in cash.

4. Take advantage of credit card benefits

Credit cards — especially those geared toward travel — may include benefits like travel or rental car insurance. You may be eligible for these benefits if you book part or all of your travel with this card.

This means that you do not have to take out any additional insurance, for example.

“Always check your credit cards and see how good the insurance is,” Griscavage said.

It’s important to ask certain questions, such as whether a card’s benefits cover pre-existing conditions during a trip, for example. This is how you save in a busy and expensive season

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