Holiday Budget Travel Tips

By Cozette M. White

For many families, travel is part of the holiday season. Some travel to visit family, while others like to take a trip during the holiday season. Traveling (as you probably well know) is not only hectic during the holidays, it’s also darned expensive.
Whether you’re heading to grandma and grandpa’s or you’re hitting the slopes this holiday season, you can save money.

Here are seven tips to save money on holiday travel.

#1 Buy early. Book now, before the holidays are on everyone’s radar. You can save hundreds, even thousands of dollars buying your tickets and booking your hotel rooms now. Check out individual airline websites for prices. Also check travel websites for deals.

#2 Buy a package. Often you can get a great deal on travel if you buy a packaged deal. On many sites, that will include hotel, rental car and flights. Depending on where you’re going, it might also include show tickets, lift tickets or activities.

#3 Book the trip yourself. Yes, travel agents are a wonderful help when you don’t know where you’re going. They can tell you the best places to stay and often get a good deal. However, if you know where you’re going and what you want to do when you get there, book the trip yourself using one of the many travel websites.

#4 Be flexible. This is particularly helpful if you buy early. Be flexible with the dates and times of your travel. If you’re able to fly on a Thursday instead of a Saturday, for example, you could save a few hundred dollars on air travel alone.

#5 Change your mode of transportation. Can you travel by train or bus instead of air? If so, check out the rates. You may be able to save hundreds on your trip and have a new adventure to talk about.

#6 Bring food from home. If you’re traveling by car to your destination, grab a cooler and pack it with food from home. You’ll save tons of cash because you won’t have to eat out, and you’ll be healthier too.

#7 Rent a house. Instead of booking a hotel room for your trip, consider renting a home or condo. There are websites available that list vacation homes for rent. This is a great way to save money because you can cook your meals at home. Additionally, depending on your destination you can save money by renting a home instead of a hotel room.

Vacation travel doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Plan early, research your options and look for packages and deals that make sense. You may just have the best holiday yet!