As the holidays draw near, you might be making travel plans to see your loved ones who live in another state – or even another country. While it can be a little bit of a hassle to travel at holiday time, it is certainly worth it to be able to spend time with the people you care about.
Of course, in addition to having to deal with long lines and potential weather delays at the airport, there is also the issue of cost to consider because the holidays are already expensive without travel. You probably won’t have a great trip if you are worried about how much money you are spending the whole time, so make some smart decisions in order to save where you can.
Below are four basic tips that could help you save money as you plan your holiday travel.
Start Planning Early
Any time travel is involved, planning ahead is a great idea if you would like to save some money on your trip. By giving yourself plenty of time to shop around before the trip arrives, you can consider various offers from different companies. If you wait closer to the last minute, you basically have to take whatever deal you could find – and that will almost always cost you more money. In addition to your transportation, shop early for lodging as well (unless you will be staying with family).
Consider Connecting Flights
Flying direct will typically be more expensive than taking a connecting route, so consider buying tickets that include one or two connections along the way. This kind of travel takes longer and isn’t quite as convenient, but the savings you find just might make it worth your while.
Of course, you will want to make sure that the connections are easy to make and that you will still arrive at your ultimate destination in time.
Avoid the Rush
Do you have a flexible schedule at work, specifically around holiday time? If so, you might be able to save money by booking your travel during a time that isn’t quite as popular. For example, countless people travel on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, with many of them returning home on Sunday.
If you can adjust your schedule by a couple days – maybe leave on Monday prior to Thanksgiving, you should have less competition for tickets. This approach might not always be possible, but it is certainly something to keep in mind.
Can You Drive?
Before you rush out to buy plane tickets that will take you to your destination, it is worth your time to at least consider the idea of driving instead. Obviously driving isn’t going to work out if you are going all the way across the country, but a trip of just a few hundreds miles could be very manageable.
Prior to committing to making the drive, map out your route and look for any spots like mountain passes which could be trouble in inclement weather. With falling gas prices and rising airline ticket prices, driving to your holiday destination may save you hundreds of dollars.
Are you planning to travel during the holidays? Have you used any of these ideas to save on holiday travel? How will you save on your holiday travel?
Photo courtesy of: PublicDomainPictures
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