Travel is fun, exhilarating, eye-opening — but one thing it doesn’t have to be is expensive, especially if you can take advantage of some key credit card travel rewards. As summer draws to a close, Americans looking to book a last-minute getaway don’t have to spend an egregious amount on flights or hotels. Smartly utilizing your credit card travel rewards, taking advantage of deals, and other travel hacks can help you significantly lower your costs.

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And if you’re planning to fly, well, you might use those rewards. Results from an Orbitz survey show that airfares were up 6 percent from last year heading into the summer and that number continued to rise through the travel season. On average, flights to popular destinations were up between 1-5 percent.

“Travelers looking to avoid the crowds and high prices should plan to travel at off times. Booking flights for Thursday or Saturday morning can spare travelers the headache of dealing with busy airports and long security lines. Most importantly, consumers should book now,” said Jeanenne Tornatore, senior editor for Orbitz.

Aside from soaring flight prices, travelers also have to deal with hotel fees, transportation costs, food purchases, buying tickets to view famous landmarks and museums, and of course souvenirs. Without proper planning, it’s easy to see how a vacation can easily balloon in price. That’s why it’s so important to make a budget and stick to it. In addition, travelers should also try to cut down on costs however they can.

One important way you can save on expensive travel costs is by utilizing credit card travel rewards, some of which you might not even know you have. Be smart and travel with your credit card in hand. It could save you significant costs.

Click through the slideshow and start saving!