Holidays are a great time to get together with family and friends, laugh, catch up and create memories together.
If you're traveling for the holidays it can be a bit expensive, especially if you’re flying with your family.
The price of one ticket may be reasonable but if you multiply that by four or more, it can add up quickly.
Here are ten ways to save on holiday travel:
1. If you plan on flying, it’s best to book at least two weeks in advance and for holidays even earlier if possible. Four to six weeks is recommended. Some experts suggest booking as early as September for Thanksgiving travel. Of course you don’t want to book too early as flights booked six months before a trip have been found to be more expensive.
2. Be flexible with your dates of travel. For Thanksgiving and Christmas the cheapest day to travel is usually on the holiday itself. Of course you risk delays and arriving late but you can save a significant amount of money.
When searching for flights choose a flexible date search so you can see what days or options can save you money. For instance, instead of returning the Sunday after Thanksgiving like most people, you may want to fly out on Monday or Tuesday if possible.
3. Set up a flight alert. There are companies that will notify you when the price of a flight you’re interested in goes down. Airfarewatchdog.com offers this service for free.
4. Check alternate airports. There may be other airports in the area that are still close to your destination. For instance in the Los Angeles area we have LAX and the Bob Hope airport which are only about 45 minutes apart.
When comparing airports I always take into consideration the cost of parking for the departure airport if needed and the cost of renting a car or transportation to your destination at your arrival airport.
5. Use airline or credit card reward miles to book your flight. There are several ways to earn miles. When you travel, fly with the same airline as much as possible to build up your miles. You can also get a credit card that helps you earn reward miles. I suggest paying it off each month though to avoid debt.
We have an American Express platinum card that we use to buy groceries and for all our shopping so we can earn points. I prefer not to have credit card debt so we pay it off each month. We chose the American Express card because it has some great travel benefits such as access to airport lounges, no foreign transaction fees and a few others.
6. Pack lightly and only bring a carry on, or choose an airline that doesn’t charge for the first checked bag. Pack items that all mix and match so you can make several outfits out of a few pieces. I’ve seen people travel for a month with a carry on and only a few items of clothing. It can be done!
7. Drive instead of flying. This can save a lot of money especially for a family. If the destination is close enough you can take a road trip. If you have time you can find places you want to visit or explore along the way and make the drive a mini vacation itself.
8. You can save money by bringing your own food and snacks whether traveling by air or driving. If you’re flying, pack your meal for the day of the flight and bring snacks. This can be a much healthier option as well. I make sure to bring healthy snacks and meals so I feel better when I arrive at my destination.
If you’re driving you can pack a cooler with food and snacks. This can save you time and money. If you want to stop and stretch you could find a nice park or rest stop to have a picnic and walk around.
This is great if you’re traveling with kids too. It gets them out of the car and they can run around and release some energy. Bring a ball, Frisbee or something for them to play with if you plan on stopping to picnic.
9. Bring water if you’re driving and if you’re flying bring an empty reusable water bottle to the airport and fill it up after you get through security. This saves you money and it’s great to keep hydrated.
10. Receive a refund if the price of your flight lowers. Our travel club has an online booking engine with technology that searches for a lower price on airfare and hotels from the moment you book your travel. If it finds a lower rate it automatically rebooks you at the lower price and refunds you the difference.
For example: One of our members booked six international tickets for his family priced at $24,885.18 and before his trip our technology found the exact same flights for only $8,338.95 so they reissued his tickets and his card was refunded $16,546.23.
I love this technology because it saves me from worrying and wondering “What if the rate goes down after I book it?” It gives me peace of mind.
If you'd like to learn more about this feature and other benefits of our travel club, email me or CLICK HERE to read more about it.
I'd love to hear from you! Please share your travel savings tips in the comments below.
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