INDIANAPOLIS — If you’re still looking to book a trip for summer, vacation experts say the sooner you get on it, the better.
Prices on most things related to travel, are expected to be higher this summer than last year, according to the Hopper Consumer Travel Index. Right now, the average domestic round-trip flight is averaging $285 a ticket, down 15% from a year ago. It’s expected to go up, however, by about $40 a ticket between now and July.
One way to potentially save on your flight is by “mixing and matching” fares. That could mean using more than one airline on your trip. Fly one airline to reach your destination, then use a different airline for your return trip if they have a cheaper flight.
If you were planning to drive, you might want to check out the federal government’s Fuel Economy Trip Calculator. It’s a free, convenient tool that allows you to calculate how much money you will spend on gas for your trip, based on the vehicle you’re driving and current gas prices. On the website, you can enter the make and model of your vehicle, along with your destination, and it will tell you how much you will spend on gasoline.
For example, a drive to and from Destin, Florida, in my 2010 Hyundai Tucson (still going strong) would cost me $208 in gas. In a 2019 Nissan Rogue, it would cost $186. A 2016 Ford Edge would use $235 on the trip, while a 2022 Honda Odyssey would burn $245 in gas.
That’s good information to know if you’re deciding between driving and flying on your trip. It’s also good to know that rental cars are expected to cost an average of $38 per day, which is down about 20% from last year.
As for hotels, rooms are averaging about $216 per night right now, which is up nearly 30% from this time last year. One possible way to save is to look for hotels that offer meals with your stay, which could cut down on how much “eating out” money you’re spending on your trip.