This is it Your guide to making it through the summer of 2023.
This is it Your guide to making it through the summer of 2023.

This summer, travel is back, and so are the high prices and hassles that make it so hard to do.

Sasha Gainullin, CEO of the travel insurance company battleface, says that summer travel is a mess. “Travellers are trying to figure out how to deal with the chaos.”

The good news is that experts have come up with some new tips to help you survive summer travel.

For example, battleface just teamed up with AirHelp, a claims management business for air travellers, to make a travel insurance plan that pays you for every flight delay. AirPayout is a new programme that sends you $110 if your flight is delayed for three hours or more, cancelled less than a week before your departure, or redirected. This is in addition to any pay your flight might give you.

“Call it the post-Covid travel bump, revenge travel, or the new normal, but it seems like everyone is travelling right now,” says Christina Tunnah, general manager of marketing and brands for World Nomads.

How to handle the crowds of summer travellers

When everyone wants to go to Ocean City, Galveston, or Catalina at the same time, crowds are unavoidable.

You can dodge the crowds of tourists by going somewhere unusual. Think about a place on the Northwest Gulf Coast of Florida, like Destin, Fort Walton Beach, or Panama City, which saw more people than ever during the pandemic. Some of the most beautiful beaches in the world are there. They have white sand and blue water. But big towns like Nashville and Atlanta are only a few hours away by car. People wanted to go farther when the pandemic was over, so the groups got smaller.

David Demarest, who works for a land development company in Panama City Beach, Florida, called The St. Joe Company, says that going on holiday is a great way to avoid crowds and save money.

“Because of the growing risks and costs of air travel this year, travellers might want to think about driving to their destinations again,” he told me.

Timing is my favourite way that experts tell me to avoid groups. Even on the busiest days of peak season, there are still quiet times in the morning. If you go to the hotel breakfast spread at 6:30 a.m., you’ll find a staff that’s happy and ready to help. Not so much at 10 a.m.

And that busy beach is almost empty at morning, which is also a great time to go for a long walk.

In this story, I have more tips from pros on how to handle groups.

What can you do this summer if you get stuck in traffic?

This summer, delay rage is a thing. But you don’t have to like it.

If you haven’t bought your summer vacation tickets yet (which is a little late), there are a few things you can do to make your trip less likely to be delayed.

First, it’s easy to find out if the trip you want to take is often late. Some online ticket companies show this information next to the trip. If they don’t, you can look up the flight number on Flightaware, which will tell you how often flights are late on average. At the bottom of the screen, you can find the real departure and arrival times in the past, as well as the length of the trip. Compare those to the times and length of the flight that day, which are shown at the top.

In general, it’s best to leave as early as possible. There is less chance that the first flight of the day will be late. If you start a road trip at first light, you’ll be there before rush hour. You can always talk to a professional travel planner if you’re not sure. My consumer protection website, Elliott.org, has a free help on how to find the best travel agent.

Also, look for the most freedom you can get, not just for trips but for hotels and tours as well.

Adam Lawless, a spokeswoman for Viator, says, “Find a trusted partner with a flexible cancellation policy to give yourself more peace of mind.” With all the delays in the summer, you don’t want to be stuck with a meeting you can’t keep.

How about expensive things?

Even though airfares have gone down since late spring, they are still very high. For the first half of the year, the average price of a domestic flight was $284, which is the highest it has been in recent years. The average price of a room per night is up a little bit from last year’s record high of $156 per night. In the end, travelling isn’t cheap.

Use CheapAir.com‘s Price Drop Payback if you’re not sure if now is a good time to book. This will give you peace of mind. It lets people get up to $100 back if the price of their ticket goes down after they buy it. And this summer might be a good time to use it. Jeff Klee, CEO of CheapAir.com, says, “The later in the summer you can travel, the better deals you can get.”

People also spend a lot of money on flights and hotels, and then they try to save money on things like trips and meals at restaurants. But then what’s the point of going somewhere? A much better plan is to find a place where you can get more for your money that costs less.

It doesn’t even have to happen in the U.S. I’m in Thailand, where everything is as cheap as it’s ever been because of the exchange rate. It is also the middle of the year, which is officially rainy season, so many places have rooms available.

Bottom line: If you want to save money on travel this summer, you’ll have to get clever. Think about going somewhere cheaper.

My unusual advice for summer travel is to put off that trip.

I told you I would give you some strange advice, and here it is: Don’t go now if you want to make it through a summer trip. Everyone else wants to go to the beach, a national park, or a well-known museum. The best way to move is to stay away from trouble.

I understand. Someone who writes about travel telling you not to travel. But I’ve never seen it like this before. If you can put off your trip until early September, you’ll avoid crowds, high prices, and what Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection calls “Airmageddon.”

You can tell me thanks later.

What do you think?

What are your professional tips for making it through the summer? I really want to hear them. You can say what you want.

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