The holiday season is quickly approaching, and if you’re like millions of Americans, some type of travel is in your holiday plans. With limited resources, how can you accomplish holiday travel on a budget when you’re already spending on gifts? We’ve gathered some helpful tips for getting the best deals when it comes to holiday traveling.
Tips For Holiday Travel on a Budget
- Don’t delay — make your travel plans as early as possible to get the best deals. Sometimes waiting until the last minute works, but if you try this over the holidays, you could end up paying more.
- Airlines often put seats on sale on Tuesday afternoons, so checking for flights around that time could get you the best prices. But remember that holiday flights fill up fast, so don’t wait too long for a good deal or someone else will snatch it up.
- You may get the best prices on hotels if you book them closer to your travel date. If you’re traveling to a hot spot or a tourist destination, your options may be more limited the closer you get to the dates you want to travel, so take that into account.
- Try to be flexible with your travel dates. Airfare will be highest on peak travel days, especially the day before Thanksgiving and the Sunday after. Try several different dates when you’re searching airfare and if possible, plan your trip around the best price. Historically, the cheapest days to fly are Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays
- Consider early morning flights. They may save you quite a bit of money.
- Don’t be afraid of layovers. Sure, it’s less convenient to make a stop or two, but if you really need to save, a layover flight is the way to go.
- Check multiple sites — don’t just go to one comparison site. Sometimes going directly to the airline website can yield the most economical options.
- Save on travel food by packing your own. Airport food is expensive, and so is eating at restaurants if you’re driving. Save money by packing your own snacks and sandwiches from home to take with you.
- It’s common these days for airlines to charge for each item of checked baggage, as much as $30 to $50 for a standard checked bag on a domestic flight. Try to fit your luggage in a carry-on to avoid checked bag fees. If you’re bringing gifts with you, it may be cheaper to ship them to your destination ahead of time, instead of checking an extra bag. If you’re only bringing a carry on, make sure your luggage complies with TSA’s baggage rules.
- Check flights out of or into a different airport. You may need to drive an extra 30 minutes, but there’s a chance of cheaper tickets and fewer crowds – definitely worth considering!
Holiday travel can be an expensive, but with a little bit of strategy and effort you’ll be able to spend more quality time with your family this holiday season without breaking your budget.
The CESI Team is committed to helping you reach your financial goals. If debt keeps you from living the life you dream of, contact us for a free debt analysis today and get started on the road to a brighter future!