8 WAYS TO SAVE ON HOLIDAY TRAVEL
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The chestnuts are beginning to roast, the carolers are starting to sing, and if you’re like many Americans, you’re in the throes of planning your holiday travel.
Don’t let this stressful task take away from the fun and joy, especially if you’re worried about finances. There are many easy things you can do to save money on holiday travel. Get started by following the below tips today:
1. PLAN EARLY
The early bird gets the worm, or in this case, the cheap travel deals! Planning ahead and starting early is the number one way to save money on your holiday travel. Take the time to research discount travel sites to hunt for a good deal. Shop around for the best airline prices, rental cars, and hotel accommodations. And if you haven’t started thinking about your holiday travel plans yet, get on it! The longer you wait the more expensive it will be.
2. FLY THE DAY OF THE HOLIDAY
Flight prices reach their peak on the days leading up to a major holiday. If you’re willing to sacrifice some of your day, it’s financially savvy to fly on the actual holiday itself. The prices are much lower and it tends to be much less crowded. This tip works well for other forms of transportation, too. The roads are much less busy on the actual holiday than the days leading up to it.
3. CRUNCH THE NUMBERS
You might think it’s obviously cheaper to drive than to fly, but take your time to do some research. The numbers may surprise you. When you factor in the cost of gas, tolls, and wear and tear on your car, it might actually make sense to fly rather than drive- especially if you can find a good deal. Another option? Consider taking a bus or train. It’s typically cheaper than flying but doesn’t involve your own maintenance costs.
4. AVOID HOTELS
If you can, stay with friends and family to avoid paying for lodging over the holidays. This is an easy way to save a great deal of money. If this isn’t an option, consider an AirBnB. Ask another family if they’d be willing to split the cost and pile in together. Being creative with your accommodations can definitely benefit your wallet.
5. MAKE YOUR OWN BREAKFAST
Another unexpected cost of travel? Food. An easy way to save money in this category is to make your own breakfast. Use the kitchenette, choose a hotel with a free breakfast, or simply stock up on granola bars and yogurt before your trip. Do what you can to reduce this cost. And if possible, stock up on snacks and non-perishable food items beforehand. The money will add up!
6. GET TRAVELERS INSURANCE
If an emergency occurs and you have to cancel your plans, the last thing you want to do is pay for a trip that you didn’t even get to go on. This is especially important if you’re traveling with young children who tend to make things more unpredictable. Give yourself peace of mind and purchase travel insurance. You can rest easy knowing that you will either get to enjoy a wonderful vacation or get your money back in full.
7. USE A CREDIT CARD WITH REWARD POINTS
There are many credit cards that help users earn free money through valuable reward points. These points can help you redeem free air miles, discounts on hotels, or even straight cash value. Do your research and find the card that will work the best for you and your family. This is a simple, easy way to save money while you travel.
8. USE SOCIAL MEDIA
Don’t just post pictures of your trip- use social media to do some investigations on deals and promotions. Many companies tend to advertise specials on their social media pages, and places like restaurants, hotels, and even airlines have been known to be active on their digital platforms. Reach out to the airline or hotel letting them know you’re excited about your trip. They might surprise you and offer up a free perk! At the very least, you’ll stay up to date with the latest news and policies and be aware of any deals or discounts they may be offering.
Traveling can be expensive, but it shouldn’t take away from the joy and celebration of the holiday season. Follow the above tips and start saving money on your holiday travel today. Happy holidays!