7 Tips for Saving Money on Holiday Travel
The holiday season is a time to celebrate with our loved ones, but it can also be a stressful and expensive time of year. Between buying gifts, decorating the house, and traveling to see family and friends, expenses can quickly add up. With gas prices and flight fares skyrocketing, it’s challenging to find ways to travel on a budget. However, by implementing the following seven tips, you can save hundreds of dollars during the upcoming holiday months and even enjoy yourself in the process.
Stay With Family
Staying with family is a simple and effective way to save money during the holiday season. However, it’s crucial to make arrangements well in advance to avoid any awkward moments or privacy infringements. Talk to your family members and see how long they would be comfortable with you staying. Offer to cook them a nice meal or take them out to dinner as a gesture of appreciation. It will save you a significant amount of money on accommodation costs, and you can still have a meaningful holiday with your loved ones.
Do Research on Airline Fees
If you are traveling by plane, research airline fees before booking your flight. Airline policies on baggage allowances can change frequently, and the fees can be high enough to upgrade to first class. Avoid these unexpected financial surprises by packing light or shipping gifts ahead of time. It will also help you to keep your stress levels down in the airport.
Bum a Ride
Taking a taxi to the airport or leaving your car parked there for a few days can be expensive. Instead, ask a friend to drop you off and pick you up at the airport. You can return the favor to them the next time they need a ride. It’s an easy way to save a few hundred dollars and keep your car safely at home.
Research Alternative Methods of Travel
Depending on where you live, traveling by train can be less expensive and more enjoyable than flying. You can enjoy the scenery, and your kids will love it. Of course, it won’t work for everyone, but it’s worth researching. It might work out best for travelers who prioritize time management and making the most of their journey. You will have built-in quality time with your family and won’t waste precious hours waiting in long security lines at the airport.
Plan Your Meals
Expect the inevitable delays when you travel during the holiday season. Weather problems, technical difficulties on planes, and traffic jams are all common occurrences during this time. Keep this in mind and pack snacks such as popcorn or pretzels to avoid spending money needlessly on fast food or convenience stores. It will keep your wallet and your body healthy.
Many travel deals during the holidays come when travelers are flexible with their schedules. This includes taking red eyes, having long layovers, or staying in two or three-star hotels. It’s especially true when you only need to stay for one night. Traveling on the actual holiday, like Christmas Day, could get you much cheaper tickets than flying the day before or after. Keep your schedule open, and you’ll reap the rewards. Use Google’s matrix airfare search tool to find the best prices and availability.
Use Social Media
Planning ahead and using travel websites for the best rates work well most of the time. However, the holidays are often plagued with extra expenses. Tweet your hotel or message them on Facebook to let them know you’re excited about staying there. You never know when they’ll comp you a free breakfast or upgrade your room for being involved and spreading the word about their company.
In conclusion, holiday travel can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. Stay with family, research airline fees, bum a ride, research alternative methods of travel, plan your meals, be flexible, and use social media to save money during the holiday season. Implement as many of these tips as possible to save hundreds of dollars and enjoy a stress-free and meaningful holiday.