With the holiday season right around the corner, traveling to see family is hard to avoid for many Americans. Costs may also begin to pile up after the trip begins, so here are some tips for avoiding some costs of traveling during the holiday season.
First, decide whether to fly or drive to your destination. Flying may be the best option if traveling across country or just wanting to make the trip as short as possible. Sometimes, flying can be cheaper and save travelers hundreds of dollars as well as wear and tear on their car. A flight from Huntington, WV to Myrtle Beach, SC costs $30-$40 while driving can end up being anywhere from $100-$150 after driving all the way back. So flying may not only shorten the trip, but save some money.
Also, if deciding to fly, never pick the first ticket price you may find. There are literal hundreds of travel agents selling tickets with many claiming to have the lowest price. Shop around a little before making a final decision. Flights with layovers can be found for lower prices than some direct flights. Also, buy tickets as soon as possible so prices do not raise as time for the flight approaches.
One last tip for travelers who are flying is try to avoid airline fees. Where customers were given many free items on the flight and a couple pieces of luggage included in their ticket price, airlines have now begun to charge for almost everything on the flight. Everyone gets one piece of luggage and a carry on, so pack very light and only take essentials to avoid fees. Eat and drink plenty before boarding the plane to avoid fees for beverages on the plane.
If you plan on driving to your holiday destination, plan your trip. Do not wait until the last minute and just leave. This is a good way to get stuck in traffic. Many areas have at least two rushes every day where cars form both minor and major traffic jams. One time is early in the morning anywhere between 7 A.M. and 9 A.M. with a second time in the evening usually between 4 P.M. and 6 P.M. When planning to travel, try to leave early enough to avoid being in or around major metropolitan areas during these periods. It could very well save any traveler precious time and the cost of extra gas sitting in traffic.
One final way to save money when traveling this season is to limit spending in general. Many travelers spend large portions of their money eating at fine restaurants and buying loads of souvenirs. Instead of spending money on things that are not truly needed, set a limit to avoid a large expense on the trip. Instead of eating out every night, buy groceries and cook a meal. If everyone wants a night out somewhere nice, just do it one night and pick a place everyone can enjoy. With souvenirs, either buy none or limit everyone to one item. One souvenir is enough to bring back a memory.
So for all those travelers this holiday season, try to save a little. The holidays are supposed to be the best time of the year, so do not be overly stressed out about spending money, but also try to keep spending under control. Sometimes, the best way to save money is to never spend it to begin with.