Save money on holiday travel
- Save money on your airfare and other tickets by using a few expert tips.
- The way you pack your suitcase can save you more money than you think.
- If you use your technology to your advantage, you can save a lot of money.
With Halloween under our belts, we’re staring the holiday season in the face. And holiday season means holiday travel, whether to visit your relatives on the West Coast or to make a family trip down to Mexico to sneak in some sun in our otherwise dreary winter. People assume holiday travel is going to cost them an arm and a leg — but it doesn’t have to.
The price of tickets is enough to make your eyes bulge when you’re looking at booking for holiday travel. In today’s day and age, though, there are a lot of workarounds available to help us save money on buying those tickets.
Buying your tickets early is one way to save money right off the bat. Airlines might increase their prices around the holiday season, but last-minute holiday tickets are going to be even worse. For domestic flights, it’s good to book a couple of months early, as that’ll get you some of the cheapest tickets (as well as some peace of mind, since you won’t be scrambling to find tickets at the last second).
Of course, being flexible about your travel will help save you bundles. That might mean giving up your preferred seats on your flight for more affordable seats elsewhere on the plane, or it might mean not taking a flight at all. Trains can offer surprisingly good deals on tickets, saving you a lot of money compared to what you would have spent on a plane ticket. And depending on where you’re traveling, it might even save you time, too, once you factor in the time you’ll spend in security lines and getting to the airport through that holiday traffic.
Taking a smaller suitcase will save you a lot of hassle at the airport. You won’t have to deal with lugging it between all the gate changes that are bound to happen, for one thing. It will also save you a lot of money. Airlines will charge you a lot of money for that extra checked bag, and any oversize fees are going to add up quickly.
Packing light also means not taking all those gifts you meticulously wrapped. But don’t worry: that doesn’t mean you have to leave them at home. Instead of taking them through the airport, you can ship them directly to your destination. This will save you money since you won’t have to pay for a whole suitcase full of presents, but it’ll also save you the hassle of having to rewrap the gifts after TSA unwraps them all to check what’s under the wrapping.
Use technology to your advantage
Technology can offer you a lot of ways to save money, especially over the holidays. You can use apps on your phone like Hopper to find great airline deals, and Paribus to automatically save you money and get refunds on things you buy if the price drops after you’ve bought it.
People assume holiday travel is going to cost them an arm and a leg — but it doesn’t have to.
Rideshare apps can save you a lot of money, too. If you’re flying out for the holidays and planning on parking at the airport, you’d better plan on budgeting a considerable amount of money to pay for that parking. Instead of parking at the airport, use Lyft, Uber, or another local rideshare option in your area to get to the airport without having to find and pay for a parking space.
Of course, making sure to take advantage of any cashback deals you could be accumulating is essential too. When you’re making all those big airfare, gift, and other holiday purchases, use your credit card (as long as you have a plan to pay it off) and make sure you’re getting all that cashback. Or, if you’ve already racked up some points on your card — use them. Make ticket purchases with those points, so you don’t have to dig into other holiday funds.
Traveling during the holidays can be stressful. But it doesn’t have to cost you a fortune; make your travel plans with care, and you can save a lot of money on your travels this holiday season.
A deeper dive — Related reading from the 101:
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If you’re flying this holiday season, read this to find some useful tips on how best to get through TSA.
- The top travel accessories that you need for your next trip | Vacation 101
Read this to get some tips on things to buy that will make your traveling much more comfortable.
- 5 ways everyone can save money fast, even if you’re paycheck to paycheck | Finance 101
Saving money doesn’t have to be just a holiday tradition. Read on to discover tips on how to save money year-round.