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Thinking of taking a trip this Memorial Day? The three-day weekend is a fantastic time to get away before the heat sets in around the country.
Here are some ways every type of traveler can think ahead and make the most of their Memorial Day weekend.
For out-of-town travelers
Since it is a holiday weekend, redeeming awards could be tough if you're booking last-minute. Look to take advantage of programs that have no blackout dates, such as Southwest Airlines Rapids Rewards.
Many hotel groups offer discount rates when booking in advance. For instance, IHG offers free breakfast when you book early, and Hilton offers 15% off your purchase when you book in at least a week advance. Rates could be nonrefundable, so make sure your plans are solid before booking.
For the outdoor enthusiast
With an extra day, you can venture a bit farther away than your local campsite. It’s also a great time to backpack, as traditional campgrounds can fill up on holiday weekends. Southwest Airlines allows two free bags per traveler, so you can use a backpack and another bag for any extras you might need. The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card also works on campground fees and recreational vehicle rentals.
» Learn more: Make your national parks trip an adventure in savings
For the staycationers
If a three-day weekend trip feels like it would be too hectic for you, try getting to know your city a little bit better. You can use travel rewards to escape in little ways. The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card also covers local things like museums, carnivals, zoos and more. Or if a staycation means treating yourself to a fancy dinner, use a travel card that gives a bonus for dining out, such as the Hilton Honors American Express Card, which allows cardholders to earn 5 Hilton Honors points per $1 spent at restaurants.
For the beach vacationers
If you’re far from the beach, Memorial Day weekend could be the time to fly instead of drive, because you probably don’t want to spend half of your long weekend in the car.
» Learn more: Fly to these beach destinations using travel rewards
American and Delta offer vacation packages that can include a rental car and/or hotel stay at deep discounts. Use an airline-branded card like the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card to earn double miles for every eligible purchase made directly with Delta. And if you need a hotel on the surf, Hilton Honors offers loyalty members 40% off Sunday stays when you book at least three nights. Availability varies by hotel, and the requirements for the discount vary depending on which day guests arrive.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2021, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice: The complete guide to the Hilton Honors program NerdWallet’s top travel credit cards How to make the most of the Bank of America travel rewards card