Last updated on January 1st, 2020 at 04:42 am
With the holiday season around the corner, there are dozens of expenses that pop up. For many families, travel to see loved ones is one of the biggest expenses.
Whether you’re traveling near or far, here are 10 tips to help you save some money this year.
1. Set alerts.
It may already be too late to get a really great deal on airfare, but you can always try. Sites like Kayak let you put in your departure and arrival cities and send you a daily alert on the prices. Buy when you see a great deal!
2. Rent a car.
This might seem counterintuitive, but it can sometimes be a cost-saving measure to rent a car. It saves from having wear and tear on your vehicle, and if you’re heading a long distance and unsure how reliable your vehicle is, it could save you headaches should it break down.
3. Hotel promotions.
If you have family or friends in your destination city, have them watch for local hotel promotions on rooms. A discount certificate can lead to big savings!
4. Consider an apartment or house rental.
Sites like VRBO and Airbnb can have great deals. Many families travel and have vacant homes they rent out in their absence. Take advantage!
Our family does this often, and it’s normally not only less expensive than a hotel, but more comfortable, giving our family more room to “spread out.” You also save since you can cook your own meals vs. eating out for every meal.
5. Travel on the actual holiday.
If you can travel on the actual day of the holiday you can save huge money on transportation. Flights and train fares are often dramatically different on, for example, Christmas Day or New Year’s Day.
6. Ask for help.
If you would rather see your family than get a gift, why not ask for assistance with travel costs in lieu of a gift?
7. Combo parking and hotel packages.
If you’re driving to the airport look for hotel deals that provide parking, a hotel stay, and transportation to the airport. You can save a lot of money with parking fees this way!
8. Look for discounts.
You may have discounts waiting that you never knew about. Many employers have arrangements with travel companies to give discounts as do credit card companies. Even your Costco card might open up a world of discounts you never knew about!
9. Be flexible.
The more flexible you can be when it comes to the timing of flights, travel, and booking, the more options you’ll have at a lower price. Also, if you can arrive or depart from a nearby city it can save you money as well.
Don’t rule out smaller airports when flying, as sometimes it’s cheaper to fly into smaller destinations than hubs. I have often found great prices flying out of smaller airports, and they are much quicker and easier to get in and out of when it comes to security and crowds.
10. Ship your gifts ahead.
If you’re flying, or even taking a train, you won’t want to haul loads of luggage or pay for it! Instead ship things ahead to your destination. You can even purchase everything at one time on a site like Amazon, use Amazon Prime shipping, and have everything sent to arrive the same day as you do. You may want to call ahead and check with the hotel if you’re planning to go this route to ensure they’ll hold your packages.
What are some of your favorite travel hacks to save money on travel during the holiday season?