Thinking about visiting friends or family during the holidays or taking a relaxing vacation while you have some time off from work? Unfortunately, the holidays are typically some of the most expensive times to travel but there are some ways you can save money while traveling.
The holidays are just around the corner and when it comes to traveling, the costs can really add up quickly. Whether you plan on visiting friends and family for the holidays or are just looking to take a holiday trip for fun, there are some ways to save money while you travel for the holidays.
The money you save while traveling can be extra cash in your pocket that you can spend on more of your favorite things. These tips can also be used for other holidays and not just for Christmas.
Here are some of the best ways to save your hard-earned cash while traveling for the holidays so you don’t have to break the bank:
Avoid Weekend Flights
When it comes to the cost of flights, purchasing tickets for weekend flights can be more expensive. If you choose a flight that is during the middle of the week and avoid the Friday through Sunday flights, you may save some cash on the price of tickets.
Many travelers also save a lot of money by traveling on the actual holiday. If you can find a flight that is early enough to still make it in time to celebrate, this may be a good option for you. You will also avoid crowds and have fewer delays.
Use Travel Apps
Remember how we used to scour websites and individual hotel websites to find some of the best deals. Well now, apps that you can download on your phone have made the process so much simpler and less time-consuming.
You can find an app for just about anything these days and when it comes to traveling, these are some good apps that can help you find the best deals out there, whether you are traveling by car or plane.
- Gasbuddy can help calculate the cost of how much you will spend on gas for your trip.
- KAYAK is a flight comparison tool that also allows you to book hotels and find car rentals for the best price.
- Hopper is a flight price comparison tool. You can set alerts so that your notified when the price goes down or gauge the cost of your trip. It also has an easy-to-use interface.
- TravelSpend is an app that can help track your spending while you travel.
- Klook can help you find different activities, attractions, and things to do while you are traveling.
Take Your Own Snacks and Avoid Eating Out So Much
This is good advice for the holidays as well as for any normal traveling that you do. Taking your snacks with you can save you a ton of money in the end because snacks and other convenience foods can get pricey.
Eating out is especially expensive so once you get to your destination, you can hit the local grocery stores or supermarkets to find the ingredients you need to make your own dinners. It’s ok to splurge some nights, but you will save even more money by making your own meals.
Also, be sure to avoid the hotel room service meals as much as you can because they are notorious for being more expensive. If you do decide to eat out, you can check out some of the local bistros, cafés, or restaurants so that you don’t have to spend a fortune on a quick bite.
If you don’t have to take a lot with you, don’t. This is an easy way to avoid the extra price of having your bags checked in at the airport, which can get costly.
If you are bringing gifts to your destination or back home, check into the cost of shipping those directly instead of adding them to your luggage. Taking them with you and having to have extra space for them, can rack up the cost and could make you spend a little more time at the airport.
Read Also: 5 ways to avoid overpacking.
Use Driving Services Instead of Airport Parking
Since parking at the airport can get pretty expensive, especially during the holidays, you can use a ride-sharing service like Lyft or Uber to help you save money getting to the airport. If you have someone who can take you to the airport, that is even better and much cheaper.
Check Out Other Means of Transportation
Flying may get you there quicker, but it can also get expensive. If you don’t mind taking the train or bus to your destination during the holidays, this could be a more affordable way to travel.
While going by train or bus may seem like it would be a lengthier trip, if you consider the time it would take you to get through security, having to check-in, or waiting for the plane to take off, it may take about the same amount of time, just cheaper.
Set a Budget and Come Up with a Plan
Setting a budget is probably one of the most important things you can do when saving money and it works for traveling too.
In addition to setting a budget, good planning can help you get the most bang for your buck. You don’t want to travel anywhere without a plan. This can not only help you save money but can also help keep you from getting stressed out during the holidays.
Once you have a plan, you can narrow down your budget and how much you expect to spend on your trip. Start by pricing out different flights, hotels, gas, or the cost of a rental if you plan on traveling by car, and more so that you can get a good estimate of how much you will need for those things.
Now, you can start setting money aside so that you have what you need in order to travel during the holidays, and you won’t have to worry about any last-minute hiccups or surprising costs.
Use Price Comparison Apps or Website
Today, there are plenty of apps and websites that you can use to compare the costs of flights or accommodations. These are free and can save you a lot of money by getting you the best deals on trips, tickets, restaurant meals, and more.
Many will also send you a notification when airlines or hotels lower their ticket prices or offer special deals. Taking advantage of those sale prices can save you a lot of money in the long run.
Take your time and do some comparing when it comes to airlines or flights so that you can get the most bang for your buck. Who knows, you may find the whole package at the same cost you would pay for just the hotel room at some places.
Think About Your Accommodation Options
When you think of traveling, you automatically think of staying at a nice hotel that has everything you need. While this is always a good way to go, you may want to think about some of the other accommodations in the area you plan on visiting.
Since hotels can get costly, you can look into finding some Airbnb deals or find local bed and breakfast places around the area. Research the selection of choices you have when it comes to lodging, there may be some great and less expensive ways when it comes to finding a place to stay.
Of course, if you are traveling to see friends or family, see if they can host you during your visit or can give you some ideas on the different lodging options in the area. They may have a spare room or know of someone who will be traveling and is willing to help you out.
Read also: Ways to get the best deal on a hotel room.
Have Flexible Travel Dates
No matter what time of the year you plan on traveling, having flexible travel dates can help save you money. Holidays are the most expensive times to travel, but if you can work with your dates and take an early or later flight, this can help.
Another great way to save money on traveling is to fly during the week. Weekdays aren’t usually busy, and you can often find lower ticket prices on these dates.
Bring Your Own
Restaurants, airport snacks, and room service costs can quickly add up and get expensive. It is crazy the price you will have to pay for convenience.
To help you save money when it comes to food, take your own snacks for the plane, stock up on a few small grocery items you can enjoy at the hotel, and avoid expensive high-end restaurants during your trip.
Remember, airports only allow you to take a certain amount of liquids, but you can still stock up on sandwiches and snacks for the family.
Take Advantage of Dollar Stores
Stocking up on your necessary travel toiletries and small items can get expensive, but not if you shop smart. Dollar Stores and discounted stores will often have travel-sized toiletries and supplies that you can purchase for half the price.
While traveling during the holidays can get a little pricey, don’t be intimidated at the costs because with a little research and planning, you can easily knock those costs down to save you money during the holidays. If you are traveling during the holidays, these are some easy ways that can help you save money on your trip. Luckily in today’s world, there are plenty of apps, tips, and tricks that can help you keep some money in your pocket while you travel to see friends and family during the holidays.