In addition to some relaxation and fun in the sun, summertime for most of us also means wedding season. But travel expenses for these celebratory affairs can add up – and fast. Between flights, hotels, car rentals and more, it’s tough planning wedding travel while sticking to a budget. So what better time than now to tap into your travel rewards programs?

Save on your travel expenses this wedding season by tapping into to your #loyalty rewardsClick To Tweet

Here are a few ways your hotel and airline loyalty programs can help you save on travel during wedding season.

Book your flight ASAP

As soon as you receive a save the date to an out of town wedding, start booking your flights. Keep in mind, most flights have a set number of award seats available for each flight, so you’ll want to grab the seats while they’re available.

For select airports and times of the year, travelers snatch up rewards seats quickly. If your desired rewards seats are taken, the best thing you can do is be flexible. Add a few days to one – or both – ends of your trip and spend time taking in the local sights. Also, consider flying to a different airport near your destination. For example, if you’re heading to a wedding in Boston and are having trouble finding reward seats, try booking a flight to Providence, Rhode Island which might open up more rewards seat options.

Share the wealth with family and friends

Weddings are, in many ways, a friends and family affair. Once you book early flights for a wedding, make sure to let fellow friends and family members on the guest list know about the affordable – or free! – airfare you secured. In addition to helping those close to you save on travel, you can all benefit from referral bonuses with each hotel or airline loyalty program sign up.

Virgin Atlantic has a Miles More Friends referral program and travelers can earn 2,000 miles if they take their first round trip in Economy, 5,000 if they travel in Premium Economy and 10,000 if they book an Upper-Class trip. Each friend or family member referred also benefits from the referral by receiving up to 3,000 bonus miles when they take their first flight.

Earn rewards while shopping for a wedding gift

Searching for the perfect wedding present? Head to an earn mall, where you can gain miles and points while shopping online. Many stores partner with airline or hotel loyalty programs to reward you with a set number of miles or points for each dollar spent. Target and Macy’s are a few of the many retailers that frequently pop up on wedding registries – and help you get one step closer to your travel goals while shopping.

American Airlines, Air Canada, and Marriott hotels are a few examples of travel rewards programs that can offer you great rewards points for simply shopping through their earn malls. In fact, nearly all airlines and hotel programs offer some sort of shopping portal. Take a look at a more specific overview of top earn malls and their offerings here.

Make the most out of this wedding season and keep your travel costs down by tapping into your loyalty rewards.

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