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Bucket List on a Budget: Travel without Breaking the Bank

With airline and cruise bookings eclipsing pre-pandemic levels, it appears that vacationers’ pent-up travel demands are finally being unleashed in this “revenge travel” summer. Here’s how you can save money as you tick a few items off your own travel bucket list and profit from the most in-demand travel companies.

Passport Full of Stamps

Remember the 2007 movie, The Bucket List? It starred Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson as two terminally ill hospital roomies who decided to fulfill their bucket lists before dying. They came up with 13 items, which included visiting Stonehenge, driving a motorcycle on the Great Wall of China, a safari, visiting the Taj Mahal, and sitting on the Great Egyptian Pyramids.

Right after the movie came out, I took a Smoky Mountains weekend trip with some girlfriends, and we each built our bucket lists.

Mine was four pages long (of course!), and much of it was devoted to travel.

I’ve been fortunate that my career has enabled me to visit most of the states in the U.S. Pre-pandemic, I was able to mark off a couple of my bucket list wishes, including cruising through the Panama Canal, a river cruise through the south of France, and trips to Alaska and Hawaii.

And post-pandemic, I enjoyed a river cruise through Germany and Switzerland, highlighted by stops in Paris and Luxembourg. Next up, in July, is a drive down the 444-mile Natchez Parkway, from Nashville to Natchez, Mississippi. When I was a child, we regularly traveled this historic road to visit relatives in Mississippi, so I’m anxious to see it as an adult.

And then later in the year (I hope!) is a cruise from South America to Antarctica. And a year or two later, another river cruise to Italy, Monaco, Barcelona, and Croatia.

But I’m far from finished! Still to be planned is:

  • The trek to Mt. Everest base camp
  • A train ride through the Canadian Rockies
  • A driving tour around Lake Superior in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan
  • Back to Alaska for a train trip to Denali (and hopefully to see the Northern Lights)
  • Stay in an ice hotel
  • Go on a safari
  • See the tulips blooming in Holland
  • Take a cooking class in Tuscany
  • Go glamping
  • Drive the Blue Ridge Parkway
  • Hike and stay overnight at Mt. LeConte in the Great Smoky Mountains
  • Visit Yellowstone National Park, the Grand Tetons, and Mt. Rushmore
  • A driving tour through Iceland
  • Machu Picchu

And I’m not alone in revving up my bucket list. The pandemic gave us a couple of years of closed borders, essential travel only, and staycations. Now that COVID is mostly in our rearview mirror (fingers crossed!), the travel industry is seeing a huge resurgence in demand. Face it—we are all tired of staying at home!

And how! The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) counted almost 9.8 million people passing through U.S. airport security over the Memorial Day weekend—300,000 more than pre-pandemic 2019.

Both air and road travel is expected to soar. In addition to the end of the pandemic, the healthy employment picture and the surge in remote work have increased the desire and financial ability/time to travel. With technology today, it’s easy to work while traveling. As a remote worker for many years, I can’t tell you the last time I was totally unplugged during a trip. On my recent river voyage, I had my cell phone and iPad handy for calls, texts, and any last-minute editing of my articles.

In a Stanford University survey, 78.5% of participants said the number one item on their bucket lists was travel. College-educated women are the most likely demographic (84% of participants) to pursue their bucket lists. And people younger than 26 years of age were the most adventurous—adding “daring activities” to their lists.

But not all Americans are geared up for traveling this summer. According to Consumer Tracker, those families with incomes higher than $100,000 are the likeliest to hit the road, driving, flying, and cruising, as you can see in the following graph.

Travel Plans By Household Income

Fortunately, the high wage earner sector is increasing, and young or old, they are not afraid of spending some change on travel. According to Provision Living’s recent survey, folks are willing to spend an average of $3,081 on a bucket list item. And that number doesn’t change much from older to younger travelers. Boomers say they would spend $3,204 and Millennials, $2,959. But of course, you don’t have to spend that much money to have a good time, as you’ll see later in this article.

And despite, yes, rising prices for all aspects of travel—air, gas, hotels, cruises, etc.—if you look hard enough, you can still find some bargains that will get you on the road to conquering your bucket list!

That’s what happened to me on my recent river voyage. I always scour travel magazines and brochures whenever I find them, dreaming, and looking for a deal. I had originally booked a similar European river cruise that was supposed to take place in April 2021. Well, you know what happened; it was canceled due to COVID. But I kept watching the prices decrease as the pandemic wound down. And then, free airfare was offered. My friend and I basically bought a 2-for-1 cruise with free airfare from Atlanta to Paris and home from Zurich. And I don’t mind telling you, we each paid about $3,400. Not bad for 12 days with some incredible destinations and wonderful food.

And I’m closely watching this Antarctica cruise I’ve been eyeing. So far, the cruise price (on Princess) has been cut in half (to about $1,500) and so has the airfare (about the same price). The sticking point for me is that none of my friends want to accompany me, so I will have to pay the dreaded single supplement (about $800). I will probably do it, though. I really want to go.

While U.S. travel has breached pre-pandemic levels, international travel is still lagging, about 27% below 2019 levels, according to the U.S. Travel Association. The Mastercard Economics Institute’s fourth-annual travel report, Travel Industry Trends 2023, notes that global leisure travel increased 31% in March from 2019, the last year of pre-pandemic travel, and rose 25% from 2022 to 2023. And with China reopening its borders to world travelers, it’s expected that travel to and from China will soon take a huge leap. I’d love to see the Great Wall of China and the Terracotta Army!

International travel is definitely rebounding. And like the prices for traveling in the U.S., costs are escalating, but bargains are still available (like my river cruise!).

And I’m going to get to those deals in just a minute. But first, let’s look at how travel is evolving, which might give you a few ideas on additional trips to add to your bucket list.

The Focus of Travel Is Evolving—to Experiences!

While most people travel to explore new lands, that is not the only reason for bucket list forays. Climate change is boosting ecotravel up the list, and since the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) reported that some of the most “iconic tourist destinations, including the Amazon rainforest, the Great Barrier Reef, and the Galapagos Islands, are at high risk of being severely impacted by climate change in the coming decades,” folks are clamoring to experience those sites.

And speaking of experiences … Spending on experiences is up 65%, compared to 2019.

Like my desire to go to a cooking school in Italy, food tourism is a hot ticket. Technavio reports that the global culinary tourism market size is expected to grow by 17.45% annually, to $126.28 billion from 2022 to 2027.

Consider next the wellness seekers. You can see the coming demand in the following graph.

US Wellness Tourism Market

Grandview Research notes that the global wellness tourism market size was valued at $814.6 billion in 2022, and is forecast to increase by 12.42% annually from 2023 to 2030.

Wellness tourism involves “improving and enhancing an individual’s physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.” You can indulge in retreats offering yoga, spas, meditation, and Pilates, and by visiting hot spring resorts. I have a friend who traveled to Mexico for six weeks last winter to participate in a self-actualization seminar. It didn’t come cheap, but she felt the $4,000 she spent was worth it.

And then there’s set-jetting, travel destinations that are found in a favorite film or TV series. A recent study by American Express reported that entertainment-focused tourism is booming, with 70% of Gen Z’ers and Millennials saying that they have “been inspired to travel to a destination after seeing it featured in a TV show, news source, or movie.”

Some of the favored destinations are Yellowstone, Paris, or Sicily, tourist spots featured in shows such as The White Lotus, Yellowstone, and Emily in Paris.

Let’s not forget about adventure travel, which is attracting the younger generations. The market size of global adventure tourism was estimated at approximately $288 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach $2,824 billion by 2030, according to Next Move Strategy Consulting. This segment includes biking, hiking, walking, climbing tours (like my hopeful trek to the Mt. Everest base camp).

It could be something more local, such as spending 5-7 months hiking the 2,190-mile Appalachian Trail or the 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail. Or if that is too tame, consider climbing some of the world’s 14,000’+ mountains. Hint: you don’t have to go to Nepal or Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa; there are 64 mountains in 48 U.S. states that are taller than 14,000 feet!

If you want a little less adventure, try ziplining. There are ziplines in almost every state in the union, and plenty overseas. I did 11 in the Costa Rican jungle a few years ago. It was way fun!

You can jump out of a perfectly good airplane for a couple of hundred dollars, and you won’t actually need to go too far from your home, as parachuting opportunities abound in the U.S. I enjoyed doing a tandem jump for one of my notable birthdays (I’m not saying which one!).

And don’t forget a hot air balloon ride. You can do this almost anywhere, too, or you can add it in on one of your trips like I did in France one year.

But if you are talking international adventure, bring your wallet. I haven’t seen a lot of discounts in this area, but I’ll tell you what I have found out shortly.

Let’s Talk Deals!


Cruises—ocean and river—are pretty good deals right now.

In a quick scan, I found these deals:

Royal Caribbean: 5 nights, $341pp.

Royal Caribbean: 14-night transatlantic from Barcelona to Tampa, $469pp.

Viking River Cruise: Rhine Getaway, Amsterdam to Basel, from $2,399pp.

Avalon Waterways: 7-night Tulip Time (sounds right up my alley!), Rotterdam, Netherlands; Antwerp, Belgium; Ghent, Belgium; Middelburg, Netherlands; Veere, Netherlands; and Willemstad, Netherlands, $2,859pp.

Royal Caribbean: 7 days, Panama Canal, from $756.

How about a family cruise?

Celebrity: 7-day Alaskan Cruise, $260pp.

Disney Magic: 6-night Bahamas Cruise, $696pp.

Princess: Alaskan Cruise Tour, 7 days of cruising, trains, Denali, $899pp.


I’m absolutely enamored with the whole idea of a train trip. I’ve only ever been on small tourist trains, so a 3- or 4-day trip sounds just great to me.

Canadian Rockies: Journey through the Clouds, 8 days, 7 nights, 2 days on the train, see Vancouver, Kamloops, Jasper, Banff, and Calgary, $2,568pp.

Or, if you want to stay closer to home, try these:

Grand Canyon Railway: 3 hours+, from $27-$349pp.

Napa Valley Wine Tour: 6 hours, three wine tastings, 4-course meal, $699pp.

Food Tours

There are cooking classes in most countries around the world, by the hour, by the day, and by the week—at prices from a little more than $100 to thousands. Just Google the cuisine in which you are interested, and you will find an amazing array of opportunities. Here are a few I found that looked interesting:

3- or 6-night Tuscany cooking tour, $2,050 to $5,175pp.

2-night French Foodie in Tours, $2,190.

A note here; a friend of mine did a week-long French cooking tour a few years ago, and happily shared some of her recipes with me! I have a killer stove-top roast recipe from the school. Just email me at, and I’m happy to share!

Now, if your budget doesn’t extend to international cooking classes, don’t worry! There are plenty more economical venues available in the U.S., such as these:

3-day Cast Iron Cooking Holiday, St. Albans, Missouri, $915pp.

Macaron Making at Carmel-by-the-Sea, 1 ½ hours, $99.


The combination of glamorous and camping, mainly targeted toward women, is a way to get outdoors without skimping on the amenities. Indoor baths, electric lighting, butler service, even a spa, can be found at many of these resorts. Some include fancy tents; others have individual RVs.

Moose Meadow Lodge & Treehouse, Waterbury, Vermont, from $158pp.

Asheville, North Carolina Glamping, from $160pp.

Adventure Tours

Machu Picchu: 6-day Highlights Tours start at $2,990pp, but a more economical idea from $999pp is the Sacred Lands of the Incas Tour.

Note: you’ll spend about $1,000 roundtrip for airfare to Peru.

Trek to Mt. Everest Base Camp, (17,598 ft. altitude): 12 days, from $1,122pp.

Note: airfare to Katmandu, and then to the mountain, will set you back about $2,000-$3,000.

Stay in the Ice Hotel: the #1 rated ice hotel is in Sweden for an economical $158/night/pp.

Note: while staying at the hotel is cheap, the airfare isn’t; expect to pay around $3,500-$4,000.

Safaris can range from about $1,700 to many thousands, depending on how luxurious a trip that you desire. Here are a couple of ideas:

Okavango Experience: 10 days, from $1,713pp.

Note: you’ll fly into Johannesburg, where airfares are about the same as the safari cost, or a bit more.

Gorillas & Game Parks: 16 days, from $3,885pp.

Note: You’ll fly into Nairobi, Kenya, at a cost of $1,500-$2,100.

Cruise the Amazon: 8 days, from $2,280-$4,450pp.

Note: expect to spend about $2,000 for your flight.

Tour the Galapagos: 8-16 days, $5,000-$16,000pp.

Note: your flight will run about $1,500.

See the great statues on Easter Island: 7-13 nights, $1,500-$2,400. You might combine this with a Machu Picchu trip!

Note: your flight will cost from $1,700-$4,000+.

Bike Tours can be domestic or international, and range from 1-2 day fun tours to more serious treks of 7-12 days. Here are a few examples:

New Hampshire Covered Bridges: 2 days, $599pp.

Gems of Southern New England: 5 days, from $1,689pp.

Berlin to Prague: 5 nights, $5,299-$5,799, double occupancy.

Brittany & Normandy: 5 nights, $4,999-$5,649.

Ireland: 5 nights, from $5,599.

Note: expect to pay $1,700-$2,500 for airfares.

Dude Ranches can be very basic or far more luxurious. I love horses and have taken riding lessons several times over the years, but I’m not sure I’m cut out for a multi-day cattle drive! But that’s just me. Colorado alone has more than 30 dude ranches. Montana, Arizona, and Wyoming also have more than a few ranches. Expect to pay about $1,500-$5,000 for a 7-night stay.

Here are some ideas for dude ranches, which can be an incredible family vacation:

Last March, USA Today named Cherokee Park Ranch in Livermore, Colorado as their Top Pick in dude ranches.

Here are the other 9 ranches:

  1. Alisal Ranch, Solvang, California,
  2. White Stallion Ranch, Tucson, Arizona
  3. Rancho de la Osa, Sasabe, Arizona
  4. Circle Z Ranch, Patagonia, Arizona
  5. Flathead Lake Lodge, Bigfork, Montana
  6. Western Pleasure Guest Ranch, Sandpoint, Idaho
  7. C Lazy U Ranch, Granby, Colorado
  8. Vista Verde Guest Ranch, Clark, Colorado
  9. Brush Creek Ranch, Saratoga, Wyoming

I checked out the prices on these ranches, and they tend to be in the upper ranges. So, if you are looking for a more economical venue, take a look at this website.

Sightseeing Tours

Iceland: self-driving tours range from 7-14 days and are priced around $1,400 to $3,200.

If you go with a tour, you can go the economical route, $1,000-$4,000, or more expensive, $1,300 to $6,000.

Note: expect to pay $1,000-$1,400 for your airfare.

Taj Mahal: 13 days, 11 nights, including airfare, from $1,700.

The Pyramids: 9-16 days, $2.500-$5.000, including airfare.

The Great Wall of China: 12-31 days, from $1,700-$5,000.

Note: expect to pay $2,500-$13,000 for your airfare.

Now, I realize that many of these trips are pretty expensive, but they are bucket list trips, and now that you know what they usually cost, you can watch for specials, like these last-minute travel deals.

10 Ways to Get the Best Travel Deals

House-Swapping (Exchange). Before you roll your eyes, just think of the 2006 Cameron Diaz/Kate Winslet movie, The Holiday. A home swap really can work out that well!

I had a friend that exchanged her home for a cottage in England. She was thrilled with her accommodations, and her 2-week exchange family even took care of her dogs!

This article is pretty comprehensive about home exchanges.

It includes information on 11 home exchange websites. You will have to pay a registration fee if you decide to use one, but it’s pretty minimal (about $150-$200).

Try a hostel, especially if you are a solo traveler. Hostels have not always had good reputations, but there are good ones and bad ones. And some are really nice. But they have a couple of advantages: 1) They cost about one-half of the typical hotel room; and 2) You have the opportunity to meet some great new friends.

About 20 years ago, my friend Glenn decided to take a trip around the world. His company was bought out, and while he had lived in Eastern Europe as a child, and seen much of that area of the world, he decided to take nine months and see the rest of it. And he stayed in hostels all over the world. He said it was a tremendous experience, and he made new friends in every country. If you are interested, Let’s Roam and Hostelling International are a couple of sites that may be helpful:

Book at the Last-Minute. If your schedule is flexible, you may be amazed at the last-minute deals you can get. Here are a few examples:

Cancun: 3 nights, hotel + flight, from $581.

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic: 3 nights + flight, from $804 (all-inclusive).

Princess Hawaii cruise: 7 nights from Vancouver, $378pp.

Use Frequent Flyer/Stay Programs

Several years ago, when I traveled a lot for business, I was a member of all the major airlines and hotel frequent flyer/stay clubs. Back then, it was pretty easy to use those points, but you often had to reserve your trip pretty early. The longest before-travel period I ever had was using my Delta miles to fly first class to Oahu. I reserved that trip about a year and a half in advance.

But I often used my miles for last-minute upgrades to business or first-class, and that was pretty easy.

And I’ve used thousands of hotel points for free stays (including four nights on that Hawaii trip!)

Not so anymore. Today, I still have some 150,000 Hilton points, which will (maybe) get me 6-9 free hotel nights). I’m probably going to use them on several small driving trips I have planned for the near future.

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that it may no longer be worth it to try to gather all of your miles/points on one specific airline or hotel chain. That’s because more than 20 million members of these programs have recently seen their elite status downgraded.

Plus, the perks that used to come with the programs—free lounges at airports and hotels, free or discounted food and beverages, free luggage, and easy upgrades have gone by the wayside.

Additionally, miles expire a lot faster than they used to, anywhere from six to eighteen months, in general.

Still, experts say that it doesn’t hurt to be a frequent flyer. And those points can add up pretty quickly if you use an airline or hotel credit card to gather points. recently published an article on the best frequent flyer programs, assessing how valuable the most popular programs are across three different travel budgets.

Frequent Flyer Chart

It cited these five programs as the best for 2023:

Best Frequent Flyer Programs of 2023

  1. United Airlines – MileagePlus
  2. Alaska Airlines - Mileage Plan
  3. Delta Air Lines - SkyMiles
  4. Hawaiian Airlines - HawaiianMiles
  5. American Airlines – Aadvantage

Browse cheap cruise sites, such as CruiseCheap or CheapCruises.

The following tips are from

Fly at the right times. The best deals can usually be found by booking your air travel off-season, midweek, or a couple of days before or after a holiday. Experts say there’s no truth to the rumor that booking on a certain day of the week will get you a better deal.

For example, on my recent river cruise, we chose to travel in late March—right before the travel season. That saved us a few hundred dollars each, and we were able to tour without the major crowds or the heat found during high season.

Be flexible with your destination. If you’re not dead set on a specific destination, use websites like Skyscanner, and Google Flights, which include explore tools that allow you to put in your home airport and see a map of the world with all the flights on it. I have to tell you; this is really cool. I looked at my home airport, Knoxville, and saw that if I wanted, I could fly to Austin, Texas for $82, Seattle for $288, and New York, for $102. If you’re just wanting to get away for a few days and don’t have a particular destination in mind, try it!

Bookmark some cheapie sites, such as The Flight Deal, Holiday Pirates for European travel or Secret Flying.

Fly budget carriers:

Here is a list of the most affordable airlines in the world:


United States



Australia/New Zealand

Middle East


Don’t fly direct. Now, if you are anxious to get where you’re going, just fly direct. But if you have the time and patience, making one or two stops will help your pocketbook.

Solo Travelers—Finally, Some Relief!

I am often a solo traveler, and it just makes me see red that I have to pay up to 1.5 times the going rate! However, there are more and more websites and companies dedicated to the solo traveler, which will help us save. I found a couple that look worthwhile:

Go Ahead Tours, which highlighted the following tours:

  • Venice, Florence, and Rome, 9 days, from $3,029pp
  • The Greek Islands, 9 days, from $3,149
  • Ireland, 8 days, $2,459

G Adventures, mostly for female solo travelers, also has attractive-looking trips:

  • Hiking Utah’s Mighty 5, 9 days, from $1,499
  • The Inca Trail, 7 days, from $1,479
  • Costa Rica Quest, 9 days, from $1,103

Of course, that doesn’t include air fare, but the prices aren’t bad!

Take a Drive

You may have noticed from my Bucket List trip that I do love a good driving tour! Sure, gas is not cheap today, but there’s something to be said for having your own vehicle, stopping where you want to (often on the fly!), and actually seeing the country you are in.

My longest driving tour was when I moved from Florida to California about 20 or so years ago. It was a 4,200 mile trip; 11 days in all.

I stopped (with my 14-year-old dog) in Tennessee to pick up my mom and one of my sisters. I asked AAA to rent me a larger car (I have seen my mom and sister shop, after all!) and gave them an estimate of where I wanted to stop each night so they could book us a room that allowed dogs.

It was one of the best trips of my life! We stopped about every 500-600 miles (and wherever else we spied a billboard with something interesting on it)! We drove I-40 most of the way, were on Route 66 for a while, went to Branson and Eureka, Missouri, the Grand Canyon, Death Valley, the Painted Desert, the Petrified Forest, Las Vegas, the Hoover Dam, and I just can’t remember where else!

My point is, driving is a good option, and I only have one recommendation to help you with that, and that is your local AAA club. For about $70 a year, you can get as many trip books and maps as you could possibly need (I know; who uses maps when you have GPS?). But believe me, there are times and places when GPS just doesn’t work correctly, and you’ll be happy to have that map. And if you are taking a substantial trip, let AAA work out your route for you. It’s pretty seamless.

One Last Word—Beware of Travel Scams!

Forbes recently published an article on this subject. And, of course, when anything becomes popular, like travel is today, the scammers are going to come out.

The article cited a survey by cybersecurity company McAfee, reporting that “30% of adults have fallen victim or know someone who has fallen victim to a scam while trying to save money when booking travel, with 33% losing between $500 and $1,000 before their trip has even begun. Of those who had money stolen, 66% have lost up to $1,000.”

A lot of these scams come via email, phone calls, and texts. So, just make sure you are dealing with legitimate parties.

And don’t forget the vulnerability of your devices, especially when using public Wi-Fi. The scammers love restaurants, hotels, and airports. Exercise due caution when connecting to a public site, and don’t remain on it very long.

The same goes for public charging stations. I would have never thought of it, but apparently, the hackers are now loading malware onto the USB ports found in airports, train stations and shopping malls. It’s called “juice jacking.” lists the following as the most popular travel scams right now:

  1. “Free” Vacation Scam, for a small processing fee. Guess what? You pay the fee, and you don’t get the free vacation.
  2. “Bait and Switch” Scam: Once you’ve paid your deposit, you find out that they are very sorry but that particular deal is no longer available. Although…we’ll happily sell you a more expensive vacation, or you’ll lose your deposit.
  3. “Phantom” Vacation Rental Scam: You pay for a vacation rental that doesn’t exist. By the way, this happens with regular home rentals also. Often on Craigslist.
  4. “Timeshare” Scam: High-pressure sales with false promises. I’m not saying that all timeshares are bad, but read the fine print. I went to a timeshare presentation last winter; the price was $65,000 for a week every year. Hmm … I can think of a lot of vacations (see above!) that won’t set me back $65,000!
  5. “Airline Ticket” Scam: Promises of a cheap flight, but then you find out the ticket is non-refundable, and you couldn’t possibly use it because of all the restrictions. Be aware that the scammers often use fake websites and reviews that look legitimate, but aren’t.

And these are the steps to take if you become a victim of such a scam:

  1. Keep all documentation related to the scam, including any emails, letters, or receipts. This will be helpful if you need to file a police report or take legal action against the scammer.
  2. Report the incident to the website or app where you booked the travel or first made contact with the scammer.
  3. If you provided financial information, like your credit card number or bank account information, contact your bank or credit card company right away. They may be able to help you cancel the transaction or get your money back.
  4. If you paid using gift cards or a wire transfer, contact the issuer. They may be able to help you stop the transaction.
  5. If you provided personal information, like your Social Security number, you may be at risk for identity theft. Contact the three major credit reporting agencies – Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax—and place a fraud alert on your credit reports. This will make it harder for the scammer to open new accounts in your name.

Travel Insurance

I realize it’s not cheap, but if your trip is canceled, you will be happy to have bought insurance.

I’ve heard too many horror stories of folks who didn’t buy it; their trip was cancelled (for any number of reasons), and they lost all of their money. Now, you should know that travel insurance doesn’t always cover all of your costs. There are lots of different types of policies. But most cover the following:

  • Personal accident coverage
  • Dental treatment relief
  • Baggage delay
  • Emergency evacuation
  • Medical expense reimbursement
  • Loss of passport
  • Lost checked baggage
  • Trip cancellation
  • Hijack
  • Home burglary
  • Trip curtailment
  • Missed departure/missed connection
  • Airline booking/bounced hotel

Alternatively, travel insurance does not cover:

  • Taking part in extreme activities that involve the risk of death
  • Playing professional sports
  • Learning to fly a plane
  • Medical travel
  • Dental treatment
  • Pregnancy and others

Again, read the fine print; ask your travel agent to explain the coverage, and if you have to cancel your trip, remember this: the squeaky wheel gets the grease. That means if you are denied, just keep following up. Chances are you will get some sort of refund.

Travel Investing Ideas

I bet you thought I was just going to tell you how to spend your money, didn’t you? Well, since I’m an analyst, I also love to help people make money! So, I’m going to give you a few investing ideas for travel companies. I hope you find them helpful.

Company/SymbolSectorPrice ($)52-week RangeP/EAnalyst Ranking
Booking Holdings Inc (BKNG)Travel reservations2640.991,616.85 - 2,786.8526.6Strong Buy
Delta Air Lines Inc (DAL)Airline42.7927.20 - 43.1614.41Strong Buy
Carnival Corp (CCL)Cruise line15.86.11 - 16.40n/aStrong Buy
Travelzoo Inc (TZOO)Travel deals9.294.10 - 10.8616.59Strong Buy

With the travel industry taking off, now may be the time to invest in it, which may lead to some more travel dollars for you! As always, don’t overload your portfolio with any specific stock or industry. Long-term investors accumulate wealth with a steady hand and a diversified portfolio.

Happy traveling and investing!

Nancy Zambell has spent 30 years educating and helping individual investors navigate the minefields of the financial industry. She has created and/or written numerous investment publications, including UnDiscovered Stocks, UnTapped Opportunities, and Nancy Zambell’s Buried Treasures under $10. Nancy has worked with for many years as an editor and interviewer for their on-site video studios.