- Limit. Set a spending limit for traveling and stick to it.
- Day. Leave the morning of Thanksgiving Day and return on Saturday instead of Sunday to save up to 50% on travel costs.
- In between. Travel prior to holidays and return prior to holidays. Schedule trip arrival and departure one week prior to Thanksgiving or Christmas to save money.
- Booking. Book flights leaving on Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Saturdays. Also look for flights earlier in the day or late at night. Consider using non-U.S. airlines for international flights.
- Alternate. Drive; take the train or bus to destinations to save money.
- Family. You may be able to save money by booking flights for each person individually.
- Split. Split airfares by booking two one-way tickets or mix and match airlines to save money.
- Early. If possible book flights at least one to three months in advance.
- Huddle. Stay with friends or relatives to save money on hotel costs.
- Strangers. If traveling alone, stay with strangers by using a service called Couch Surfing www.couchsurfing.com that allows people to open their homes to strangers who are traveling and need a couch to sleep on.
- Negotiate. Comparison shop and get at least 3 quotes. Contact the hotel directly to negotiate prices or state competitor prices to get bargains.
- Airports. Consider traveling to smaller nearby airports instead of larger airports.
- Package. Look for package deals on sites like AAA, Apple Vacations, Priceline, Orbitz or Expedia.
- Offseason. Travel to warm places in offseason such as during the Thanksgiving or Christmas holiday season to save money. Most people travel to warm places during the summer.
- Internet. Use social media to find deals.
- Lodging. Rental vacation homes or timeshares to save money on hotel costs. Use sites like www.airbnb.com or www.vrbo.com. Look at hotels in downtown areas that have fewer customers during the holidays.
- Use coupons. Use coupons of promotional codes to save money on car rentals, airfare, hotels, etc. with sites like www.promotionalcodes.com or www.couponwinner.com.
- Join clubs. Join travel clubs to save money with sites like tripalertz.com, sniqueaway.com, or jetsetter.com.
- Miles. Use earned miles to book flights.
- Extras. Buy parking or sight-seeing tours with your airfare to save money.
Friday, November 22, 2013
20 Ways to Save Money When Traveling During the Holidays
Many American families are spread out across the country and this makes it difficult and expensive to get together during the holidays. Everyone loves the holidays because it allows time to relax, see relatives, share stories and update each other about life events. Americans work between 8-12 hours days, rush to work, rush to get the kids, rush home, rush to eat dinner and then repeat the entire process all over again the next day. As a result many look forward to the holidays to take a break.
If you plan on traveling to siblings, parents, in-laws, aunt, uncle, cousin or once removed relatives homes for the holidays plan your trip ahead of time to save money and reduce stress planning last minute travel details. You can still travel during the holidays without going into debt or going broke.
This year since Thanksgiving is on a Thursday most travelers will leave on Wednesday to their destinations which will be more expensive and more congested. However, this year Christmas is on a Wednesday so travel days should be less congested because travelers have one extra day to choose from when returning home.
Airfares vary based on the airline, time of day traveling, how far in advance the flight was booked, if the flight was booked during a holiday or other peak time, and passenger flight demands. Here are 20 ways to save money when traveling this holiday season.