Holiday travel can strain an already stretched budget. However, it is easy to travel without going broke if you remember a few key points.
Budget Travel Websites
Scour budget travel websites for discounts on airfare, lodging, and/or rental car packages. Savings vary based on the travel destination and the season, but can be found if you are willing to do a little research and comparison shop.
Travel to Off Season Destinations
Traveling to off season destinations will be your biggest source of savings. Airfare and lodging in the off season can be significantly cheaper than peak travel times. Additionally, with fewer tourists there may be fewer delays in travel time and a shorter wait time at entertainment venues.
It is best to remain flexible in your travel dates when searching for airfare. Through my travels I have found that flying mid-week or on Saturday offers the cheapest airfare options. Also, taking a red eye flight will allow you to experience a full day at your destination without the expense of an additional night of lodging. Once at the airport, if your flight is overbooked and you have the flexibility, offer to be bumped to another flight. Airlines offer varying forms of compensation if you are bumped, most commonly vouchers towards future airfare.
Rental Cars and Public Transportation
You may not need a rental car for each day of your vacation. While at your destination, schedule your activities around the available mass transit options. If you want to visit locations not accessible by public transportation, plan those activities on the same day or a range of days, and rent a vehicle for only that period of time.
Group travelers can receive discounts at entertainment venues and activities, and on transit and lodging. Eligibility for group discounts can vary, but information can be found online or by phone. Group discounts can even be found on cruises, so make sure to fully research each activity or travel option when traveling with a group.
The key to saving on your holiday travel costs is to fully research your destination and travel options. A simple web search has the potential to save you hundreds of dollars and will help ensure that your holiday travel spending doesn’t exceed your budget.