Can you believe it? We’re into September and the holidays will be here before you know it. Let’s get a jump start on those holiday travel plans now so we can discover all the ways to save this year. With all the other expenses we have during the holidays, why not find new ways to cut corners without having to sacrifice?
Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years… whatever your holiday travel plans are we’ll find a way to help you save and get through the most expensive part of the year. Here’s just a few tips on how to save on holiday travel this year.
Plan in Advance
According to Kayak the best time to purchase plane tickets is 4 to 6 weeks before you fly. This is the optimal booking window to get the lowest fare.
There are days and times that are more expensive to fly than other days. Be sure to research the day before and the day after you’re hoping to travel. If you’re able to be flexible you may find that flying out on Friday and returning on Monday will bring you the lowest fare.
Stick with one piece of carry-on luggage per person. Pack your bags well by rolling up clothes rather than folding it and you’ll find that you can squeeze in a few more items than normal. Many airlines are charging bigger and bigger fees for checking bags or bringing too many carry-ons.
Use the Same Airport
It is often cheaper to fly in and out of the same airport. So even if you plan to tour around your visiting destination, try to make it back to the same airport you flew into to save some extra cash.
Book a City Trip
Many people leave the big cities like New York and Boston during the holidays. This huge cities are full of holiday cheer and with people leaving, rather than coming on, you’re sure to find a variety of discounts all over.
Ask About Hotel Discounts
Hotels offer a wide variety of discounts, you just have to ask. For example, if you belong to AAA or AARP there are often discounts available to you. If you’re booking multiple rooms your best bet may be to speak with the sales manager at a hotel to see if they can offer specific discounts to you rather than asking for the general discounts. And, to that note, you may find that it is cheaper for you to be at a hotel through Monday.
Stay at a Business Hotel
There are hotels for tourists and there are hotels for business people. Locate the hotels that are in the heart of business districts and you’ll find they have discounted their nightly rate just to bring in more guests. To add to that, you may be able to find hotels in the suburbs of the main city your visiting, this would also save you additional money.
Look Into Vacation Homes
It may be a better option for you to look into renting a house for your vacation instead of staying at a hotel. Not only could the cost per night be much more affordable, but you would then have access to a full kitchen to prep meals yourself rather than buying out. As a bonus, you may be able to find such a house that it becomes part of the vacation based on the ammenties that it offers.
Check on Rental Car Coverage
Many car insurance companies, as well as credit card companies, offer rental car coverage. Checking on these sources prior to purchasing coverage at the rental counter could save you as much as $30 per day.
Break Up the Rental Period
If you are renting a car for 7 days it may be cheaper for you to have 2 rental reservations. Make one for 5 days and a second one for 2 days. While this will require a trip back to the car company, it could save you hundreds of dollars by not having the same car for an entire week. And really, switching out cars doesn’t take much time at all.
Rent a Smaller Car
Get the smallest car possible for you and your travelers. Bigger cars not only cost more money per day to rent, but they also require more fuel which could be a budget buster.