Travel Tips

How to Save Money on Holiday Travel (Hint: Book it Soon!) [Video]

I know it’s barely even cold outside but the closer it gets to the holidays, the more expensive everything gets – and this includes travel. That’s why we are talking holiday travel in September! It doesn’t really matter if you’re trying to find a flight to see your family or you’re spending this holiday season relaxing on a beach – planning any holiday travel is stressful.

If you’re a traveler trying to cut costs and save money this holiday season I’ve got some great tips for you. And be sure to check out the video above for more in-depth information on my favorite tips!

Research Tips to Save you Money

 

Decide on a Destination ASAP

The sooner you figure out if you’re visiting family or taking a vacation the better. If you aren’t sure where to go, this is actually great! I suggest using Skyscanner’s everywhere tool to find the cheapest flights. You can search a specific date or by month to see the cheapest destinations from your home airport.

Also, if you’re still struggling to pick a place, check out my article on the Top 2017 Holiday Destinations.

Set Price Alerts

Once you have a destination picked, set some price alerts. Kayak is one of my favorite sites for alerts because you can set both flight and hotel alerts. They also have a handy prediction tool that helps you decide if now is a good time to buy.

Fly ON the Holiday

Flying out the day before, or after, a big holiday will cost you a good deal of money. While waking up for a 6 am flight on Christmas day may sound awful to most, if you suck it up, you can save loads of money.

Consider Red-Eyes or Overnight Trains

If you are trying to save money, look out for red-eye flights or overnight trains. While a bit more uncomfortable, this will save you the cost of a night in a hotel room.

Research other forms of transport

Speaking of trains, while flying is probably the fastest option, consider buses, trains, or even driving yourself to your destination. Airports during the holidays are not a fun place to be. You’re looking at long lines, frantic travelers, and if luck isn’t on your side, delays or cancellations. Skipping a flight may cost you some time, but save you money and your sanity.

Hidden fees

When you are comparing flights, especially on budget airlines, make sure you are looking at the final price including extra hidden fees. Does this airline charge for baggage? Do you have to pay for a certain seat? Many times “budget” airlines end up costing much more than traditional airlines once you add all of this in.

Found it? Book it!

Because of the high volume of travelers during the holiday season you want to book your flights now instead of later. Once you have finally finished your research, if you see a good fare or get one sent to your inbox, go ahead and pull the trigger.

Packing Tips

Carry-On Only

Because flights are more likely to get delayed, rerouted, or possibly canceled during the holiday season, always try and fly with only a carry-on. Traveling light helps you stay flexible if a last minute change occurs.

Traveling with Gifts

If you are heading to a big family gathering order your gifts online and ship them direct!I mean seriously, Amazon sells everything nowadays. If you do travel with gifts, don’t wrap them before leaving. TSA may pull your bags and have to unwrap the gifts for security reasons.

Weigh Your Luggage

Weigh your baggage before you leave the house! Because holiday flights are filled to capacity, your bag will be weighed at check in. Even just one pound over the limit can cost you a ton of money.

Day of Travel Tips

Get a Ride

Once your travel day finally arrives, ask a friend or take a cab, to the airport. Airport and nearby lots are notorious for jacking up parking fees around the holidays.

Get there Early

Get to the airport super early – security lines will be long! After all that planning and research the last thing you want to do is miss your flight. And always check in before you arrive, just one less line you have to wait in.

Pack Food

In the event your flight gets delayed, you don’t want to be stuck buying expensive (and not great) airport food for who knows how long. Be sure to pack food and a water bottle in your carry on to save you money.Coming upIn my next article, I am going to be sharing some of my best tips for finding cheap flights and hotels.

 

Be sure to follow on Mint and follow me on Instagram so you don’t miss an article.