Why Traveling On The Weekend Could Cost You Extra

With travel expenses seemingly skyrocketing by the day, it's safe to say that a lot of us are looking for ways to fulfill our wanderlust without breaking the bank. However, it's proving difficult considering how inflation has greatly affected nearly everything related to travel. According to Nerdwallet's Travel Price Index, travel expenditure in 2023 is 12% higher than it was before the pandemic struck. And while airfare has slightly dipped, other costs that normally eat a big chunk of your budget, like accommodation and dining, have soared. 

Hotels prices are 3% more expensive compared to 2022, along with dining and entertainment, which have also increased by 7% and 5% in the past year, respectively. Car rentals also notably surged, costing 36% more compared to pre-pandemic pricing. With almost everything getting more expensive, it's going to take some serious number crunching to travel on a shoestring budget. These rising costs require that you be even more flexible than you usually are, especially on the days you choose to travel. 

If you're serious about saving, you may want to avoid traveling on a weekend. It's widely known that a weekend getaway is typically pricier since most people book their trips on weekends to avoid taking time off work, but what you may not realize is the price discrepancy between vacationing on weekdays versus weekends is higher than you think.

Flights and hotels are more expensive on weekends

You could save money on your next vacation if you choose to book it for days that are not on the weekend. Flights and hotels are generally more expensive from Friday to Sunday, so expect to pay top dollar if you choose to travel on those days. As noted by a Hopper study, you can pocket about $56 in savings on a domestic flight if you fly mid-week on a regular week, $60 over spring break or summer, and a whopping $100 over the holidays. A Google study supported this, noting that airfare is usually 20% cheaper for domestic flights flown from Mondays through Wednesdays, and 12% less costly if you take into account international flights.

The same goes for accommodation, too. Hopper pointed out that if you choose to check in from Sunday to Tuesday, you can save $45 per night on your hotel room, whereas you'll be forced to spring 25% more if you want to check in on a weekend day. The situation is even worse in tourist magnet cities like Las Vegas and Miami, as accommodation costs jump to 120% and 80% more when the weekend rolls around.

It may not be ideal to lose PTO when you travel on a weekday, and you'll have to weigh up whether the savings are worth it, but the upside is that you'll be pocketing a lot more money, or at least have more to spare on dining and enriching experiences if you do so. As with all things travel, the more flexible you are, the more savings you can enjoy.