Many of you will be hitting the road this holiday season and traveling to see family and friends. Now I know Thanksgiving is just around the corner and perhaps you’ve already established travel plans. However, it’s never too late to consider tips to save money on holiday travel!
If you plan to drive make sure you’re considering in advance where you’ll stop for gas. Gas costs more in cities than in rural areas. Just make sure you plan smart so you don’t run out of gas in the middle of nowhere.
Flying requires flexibility to save money. Inconvenient flight times will offer the best deals. So, if you can take a late night flight or stay over one more day versus heading back to work, you’re likely to reduce the price of your ticket. It’s also cheaper to fly on the holiday itself.
Of course booking ahead as far as possible is probably the best tip. Air fares increase as you get closer to the holidays. You can find deals by joining loyalty programs, looking for website promo codes and book online vs calling. Wednesday afternoons are the best times to buy flights and try booking early in the morning.
Check multiple travel sites versus just one. You can also visit sites like giftcardgranny.com to find gift cards for flights, hotels for less than face value.
Bus or Train
Also don’t neglect the idea of traveling by bus or train. Doing so can save money on gas and tickets are typically cheaper than the airlines. Of course you may have to give up some conveniences (your comfort and multiple stops on a bus trip), but it may be worth it to save some extra money.
If you need to book a hotel, you’ll also want to do so as early as possible. You can definitely save money by booking a hotel and flight together. Look for deals online with travel sites like Kayak.com and don’t hesitate to call the hotel as well. Sometimes you’ll find better deals over the phone than you will online.
As for our family, we’re staying home for both Thanksgiving and Christmas this year. However, we typically drive to see family as the furthest destination is about 7 hours. In my mind, it’s probably worth the family road trip if you don’t have to travel more than a day (maybe 2). If you do decided to fly this season, get ready for long lines and a lot of people at the airports. Make sure you get there early and travel as lite as possible.
What ideas do you have to save money on holiday travel?