The holiday season is right around the corner. Traveling for spending Thanksgiving and/or Christmas in another city or perhaps another state can be costly if you don’t plan your budget ahead. It’s time to set up some guidelines on How to Save Money Traveling During the Holidays, while not going broke in the process. I’ve put together some simple tips that may seem obvious, but sometimes we need a little reminder when we plan. Follow these money saving tips, and you’ll be on the road to some big savings in no time while still enjoying the holidays.
Planning ahead is key to saving money on travel around the holidays. I’m talking about your flights, rentals, hotels, etc. Anything you can book, book early. The only exception to this rule is if your travel dates are flexible. Sometimes you can get a great deal at the last minute if you have flexible travel dates. I don’t like to play roulette with my holiday plans, though, so I always book ahead of time.
Skip the parking.
If you’re going to be out of town for a week, airport parking fees could bleed you dry before you return home! Keep in mind that parking can be upwards of $20 a day for parking, and that adds up quickly. If at all possible, have someone drive you to and from the airport or look into an offsite economy parking lot. Even the cost of a taxi can save you money if you have to pay $30 for the ride versus $100 out of pocket for parking.
If you’re flying, pack the least amount of clothes, supplies, and extras as possible. Research your airline and see what they allow, and if there will be any extra charges. If you can leave it at home, make sure you do. You don’t want to get nickeled and dimed to death on your holiday trip!
Bundle and save.
If you check the travel sites frequently, you might be able to get a bundled deal on hotel and airfare for about the same cost as your flight would have been. Be careful, though – sometimes places like these hike the “original” prices to make you think you’re getting a deal when you’re really not.
Don’t always choose to fly.
This tip is kind of misleading. You should fly if it’s going to save you 3 days worth of driving time. You should fly if you get a great deal on a ticket. You should fly if you’re traveling alone or with one other person. However, driving is more realistic and cost-effective for families under most circumstances. Even if you have to rent a car, driving is a lot cheaper than flying!
Pack a lunch.
If you’re driving, be sure to pack as much food as possible so you can skip the fast food joints. Even if you don’t pack every meal, you can easily pack snacks, drinks, and light lunches (like sandwiches, salads, etc) in a cooler. This could easily save your family $50 a day.
Think outside the box.
The date box, that is! If you can, switch your holiday a week earlier or a week later. Traveling mid-week and/or red-eye will also help save a few bucks. Less people will be traveling, less people will be asking off work, and less places will be jacking up prices on their services! That’s what we call a win-win situation, my friend.
Saving money on travel during the holidays doesn’t take a lot of effort, just a little planning and preparation.
How do you save big on holiday travel?