Consumer Alert: Ways to save on travel

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Your consumer alert Tuesday is all about you and me, and it appears we’re all singing the same tune. Americans seem to be humming that famous 1964 James Brown tune called “I Feel Good.”

The Consumer Confidence Index shows we feel good. Anything number over 100 is positive. In July, the index was 129.1 and that’s virtually unchanged from June’s number, which was the highest since February 2020. In the monthly survey, consumers indicated they feel good about current conditions and plan to spend in the future. That makes retailers feel really good as we head into the back-to-school shopping season.

But the survey also indicated inflation fears are still front of mind for some of us, and with good reason. I’ve just returned from vacation. I flew home to Texas to see my family, and inflation just walloped my travel budget. I usually plan to $2,200 for a five-day trip for four people to Texas, but look what it cost this year.

Plane tickets were $1,663. With planning, four tickets to Texas usually costs about $1,200. My rental car for four days was $505. I got a discount but still paid $85 a day plus tax. I’m usually able to rent a small SUV for less than half that. I split the cost of a beach house with my big family. I paid $380. We split the food costs and cooked almost everything ourselves. I still spent $240 on food. I paid $145 on clothes and supplies for my little crew as well as $87 on miscellaneous stuff. The total was $3,020 — $800 more than the trip usually costs. And take into account that we spent all our time at the beach, so there was no cost for entertainment. This trip could have cost a whole lot more.

So, if you’re planning one last family jaunt before school starts, here’s a list of the 10 cheapest destinations according to Forbes.

  1. Orlando, Florida
  2. Ft. Myers, Florida
  3. Tampa, Florida
  4. Detroit, Michigan
  5. Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
  6. Atlanta, Georgia
  7. Houston, Texas
  8. Cincinnati, Ohio
  9. Chicago, Illinois
  10. Dallas, Texas

There are lots of ways to save when you travel. For example, take sandwiches for that layover, so you don’t have to pay airport prices for lunch.

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