With the holidays quickly approaching, many of us will start packing our travel bags to enjoy a much needed holiday vacation with friends and family. During these trying economic times, the burden of paying for your holiday excursion can cause as much stress as it is meant to alleviate. Getting that mental stress relieved is mandatory as millions of Americans are facing more economically stressful situations than ever before. For many of us in this burdensome predicament, not taking the trip will cause as much stress as the financial woes that taking the trip will cause. Well I am going to provide you with some simple way to cut down on the big cost of traveling during the holidays.
#1 – Book in Advance
Many travelers know that by booking airline tickets in advance that you’ll save money, but did you know that rental cars, hotels, buses and passenger trains offer advance discounts as well. Make sure that you try using the 90-day advance purchase rules for any travel bookings.
#2 – Last Minute Hotel Rates are Negotiable
Hotels don’t make money off of vacant rooms and will take a small percentage off of a room if the hotel has a lot of rooms available. If you were looking at the hotel a week earlier and the rate has now gone up, call the hotel and see if you can get the rate from the week prior. National chains like repeat customers and will work with you to get your business.
#3 – Pay Cash
Avoid the temptation of putting the entire trip on your MasterCard. Remember that when you’re away, you’ll eat out, go shopping or have to put gas in the rental car. Don’t put your cards at their credit limits before you leave and, if you do have to use your cards, come up with a sound payment plan for paying off the purchases. Don’t let the cards carry Christmas charges for more than 90 days.
#4 – Stay with Friends for Family
During these hard economic times we’re all looking for ways to save so put your pride aside and ask the relatives if it’s okay to crash at their house. Many older relatives relish the idea of having family over for the holidays and would be thrilled to have loved ones at home.
#5 – Take a Road Trip
Airline travel can be ridiculously expensive these days. Many airlines are not only charging you for the price of your ticket, but they charge for checked baggage and in some cases even charge you extra for you seating choice. Pack the family in the SUV and drive to your destination. Make it a fun trip by packing bag lunches and making it a time for family bonding while saving you outrageous airline fees at the same time.