‘tis another travel season! And while many holidaymakers have the dough to splurge to make their Christmas “whiter,” many would welcome some money-saving tips to stretch their budget. Some would say it is already late in the day to be making all the planning and using of these tips now. There are, however, some that you can still wisely integrate in your plan and there are those that you can use the next time you decide to spend Christmas in a wonderful destination.
If you are in the thick of planning and booking, why not check out the “ 11 best money-saving tips for holiday travel ” offered by Jennifer Calonia of the GoBankingRates.com published in Las Vegas Review Journal – Business/Money Section. Come and take a peek at these tips:
- Avoid Peak Travel Days
“… When traveling on a budget, working with a flexible schedule can help. Last year, travelers departing from Los Angeles to New York from the same airline on the morning of Thanksgiving Day and returning on the following Saturday (instead of Sunday) spent $509 to $619, helping to save about 50 percent in transportation costs.”
- Take Advantage of Airline “Dead Weeks”
“If you don’t need to make an appearance on the holiday proper and simply want to visit friends or family during the holiday season, airlines often experience “dead weeks” between Thanksgiving and Christmas. This inactivity in airport terminals is a result of fewer business trips over the holiday months….”
- Know the Cheapest Days to Fly
“… According to a study conducted by Farecompare.com, the cheapest domestic departure dates fall on Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday. These three days have the least flight demand, as Americans tend to fly on days surrounding the weekend.
- Take the Train
“As airline transportation rises in popularity, traveling by train has taken a backseat. However, frugal travelers can book a cheap holiday trip with railway companies like Amtrak.
Traveling by train does require the luxury of a flexible schedule, since travel time is lengthier than by airplane. Despite this fact, you can benefit from saving about $100 with train travel…”
- Book Large Parties Separately
If you plan on traveling domestically with a large group, you might see incredible discounts just by shopping for tickets separately… many airline websites and comparison websites …conduct seating availability based on the number of people in your group and which price level has that occupancy number available.
So, even if there are two or three less expensive seats, everyone in your party will be charged at the higher rate. While booking each person’s flight separately may cause a bit of an inconvenience, it’s relatively mild when there’s an opportunity to save hundreds in the process…”
When to buy/book?
In addition, you can save some bucks when you buy tickets 3 to 4 months before the holiday. Of course you read tips that say “buy in advance or at the last minute.” The truth is airlines only begin to assess their rates against availability and demand just 3 to 4 months in advance.
… Mark Drusch Chief Supplier Relations Officer of CheapOair.com shares, “… to get the best deals, for those last minute travelers, a tip is to check airfare late at night, which is when airlines tend to launch major fare sales.”
“Free Lunch” and “CoachSurfing.
Skip hotel cost if you have family or friends living in the area. Not only will it save you huge amounts of money, it makes a very sensible option to spend the holidays with them.
A fabulous alternative is to join the CouchSurfing community. There are homes that welcome visitors who are looking for a frugal way to spend holiday in another place. The option offers travellers an enriching experience as they live with strangers and immerse in their local culture.
The Power of Negotiation
If you finally settle on staying in a hotel, you can still save by talking directly to hotel representatives and asking them options such as those rooms not advertised on travel websites. At the very least, ask for concessions like free Wi-Fi.
Not All Airport Fares are Priced the Same
Big and popular cities are usually served by more than one airport. Those that are located farther typically offer cheaper rates. Michael McColl of the TravelInsider.com, offers, “price out your flight options from alternate airports.”
Consider Availing Package Deals
You’re not the only traveller looking for money-saving options this holiday. With competition getting fiercer between airlines, hotels and travel agencies, many are into selling of travel packages that put together airline tickets, hotel accommodations and car rentals in a package for cheaper rates than when booked separately. Look for these when you are positive you’ll avail of them anyway.
With the prospect of fun and relaxation, it will be hard to put off travelling during the holiday season. Travelling during the peak season can be very costly, but planning in advance and putting these tips to good use can help beat the cost.