With the holidays fast approaching, we share this guest post that highlights some creative ways you can save money on your holiday travels.
Holiday Travel – How to Bring Good Tidings on a Budget
We understand: Getting into the holiday spirit is tough as all get out when the travel prices start soaring. Here, we give you the inside scoop on how to deck the halls without destroying your yearly getaway budget.
1. Travel just before — or just after — the holiday
Depending on the specific holiday season, you could find budget-friendly rates simply by adjusting your travel dates slightly. Traveling on the holiday itself is often less expensive as well; just make sure to glance at the rates for a wide stretch of time to make sure you’re getting the best possible deal.
2. Use your frequent flier miles
If you’ve been saving up your miles for a special occasion, this is the time to redeem them. Use the perks to book a flight, spend an extra night in a hotel or grab a local gift card. Your budget will thank you.
3. Skip the hotel in favor of bunking with friends or family
While we all need a little quiet time during the hectic holidays, ditching the hotel can help your keep your savings in the black. Plus, you’ll get the benefit of extra time to share with your loved ones. Our advice? If spending an entire week with the fam is much too much, consider booking a hotel for only part of the stay.
4. Pay for extras that serve you all year
Taking part in rewards program through your credit card company or investing in annual travel insurance are both fantastic ways to spend a little for quite a lot. What’s more, if you purchase these items early enough, you’ll have plenty of time to save a little extra cash for the trip itself.
5. Mail your presents instead of toting them with you
This isn’t always the most economical option, but it’s definitely worth exploring. Lugging presents on a flight can increase the number of bags you need, and shipping them to your destination before departure might work out to several dollars less than the checked-luggage fees.
6. Wrap the gifts when you get there
If shipping gifts doesn’t work for you, consider waiting until you arrive to purchase the trimmings and wrap your presents. You’ll save a ton of space in your bags and can even make a game of it with your nieces and nephews. Just make sure they don’t peek.
7. Consider renting a car rather than booking a flight
Flights are obviously the quickest way to get from point A to point B, but renting a car is often a more budget-friendly option for shorter distances. Don’t forget to check the weather before you hit the road; you don’t want to be surprised by any sudden snowstorms.
8. Check the prices on nearby airports
For those who decide flying is the only option, check the fares at surrounding airports before booking your ticket. Smaller local airports sometimes offer lower rates than major hubs, especially during the holidays.