As the holiday season swiftly approaches, many of us become embroiled in the thick of preparations and yes, expenses, which are sure formula for “holiday stress.” If you are looking at the holiday season as the opportunity to travel or visit your folks who live far from you, you need to take it easy and stay calm to stay on top of your plans sans the stress.
The Frugal Shopper Kerry Sherin offers some practical advice for holiday travellers in this post 5 Simple Tips for Saving on Holiday Travel in the US News – Money Section “… to save money and stay calm during the holiday rush.”
The first tip: “Book early and save.”
The key to staying calm is not to rush. This means making plans and booking early once you and your family have already figured out your plans for the season. Booking early can let you grab some juicy deals for early birds. Booking close to Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year is not only too hectic, it can be more expensive too.
The second tip: “Fly the day of the holiday”
Generally, travellers fly before the holiday and come back after. These are the dates when the flights can be more expensive, or where there are no deals. If you want to score deals, choose to fly in on the day itself of Christmas or New Year, when no one wants to fly anymore. While traveling the same day of the celebration may not be something to be happy about, it can be a great solution if you are desperate.
Third tip: “Look for coupons and deals.”
“Nowadays there is a coupon or deal for nearly everything, especially travel. The business of travel is very competitive, so you will find deals on anything from rental cars, hotels and flights.” Check out package deals; these are generally great money-savers.
Fourth tip: “Get there early.”
Remember that the holiday season is among the busiest time to travel. Anticipate the traffic at the choke points along the way from home, so you don’t miss your plane. Missing your flight can be very stressful, and you will incur charges. Finding a parking space for your car may also eat up a lot of time. Be smart, take a taxi or ask a friend to drive you early to the airport.
And the fifth tip: “Ship your extra luggage and gifts.”
If you have a big family, consider shipping your extra luggage ahead of time so they will get there just after you arrive. The cost of the extra luggage can be hefty if you will insist on bringing them yourself. This means you have to make plans, shop and pack your stuff early. Having just a few carry-on bags and checked baggage will also let you go through the security in less time.
Travelling is something you can’t avoid in order to be with loved ones during the holidays. These money-saving tips can lower down your cost, which you would rather spend on a gift or something special for the gathering, like a bottle of sparkling wine to toast and wish everyone a blessed Christmas and bountiful New Year. For more tips, check out the post Money-Saving Travel Tips.
Tips from Travel Channel Expert Lori Rothschild. In the post, she suggests:
- Be a Local Tourist
- Jump-Off Cities
- Use Regional Airports
- Apartment and Home Rentals Instead of Hotels
- Today’s Budget Hotels: New and Improved
- Avoid Hidden Hotel Costs
- Did Someone Say Road Trip?
- Drive With an (E-Z) Pass
- Drive Smart: Where to Fill Your Tank
- Cruise to Europe (on American Cruise Lines)
- Dining: Make Lunch Your Main Meal
- Pet-Sitting Swaps Instead of Kennels
It may be a bit late to change your plans for your holiday now that you already have your bookings. Going through some unsavory experiences this year, you can start planning for next year in advance.