Top 10 Tips for Holiday Travel
Holiday travel doesn’t need to be an expensive nightmare. Early planning is the key, and a good first step is registering for email alerts from airlines and discount travel sites. Other ways to make the most of time and money include:
Look for Packages –
Package deals that combine expenses like air and hotel or air and car rental are usually the biggest source of savings. Search for them on the internet and check the offers and perks that come with your credit card.
Bargain with Hotels –
A large portion of hotel bookings come from conventions and trade shows, few of which take place over the holidays. When speaking to the hotel directly, the phrase, “Can you do a little better for me?” can lead to significant savings.
Get Off the Beaten Track –
If you’re not committed to a specific destination, consider places that don’t attract holiday travelers. Las Vegas, Napa Valley, Germany and Greece all get fewer visitors in December, as do cruise lines operating in the southern Mediterranean.
Be a Time Shifter –
Consider staying home for the holidays and making your trip after New Year’s. January is the cheapest time to visit exciting, notoriously expensive cities like New York, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.
Be flexible about flights –
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and sometimes Saturdays are less crowded and often cheaper days to fly. Similarly, some airports in your target area may be less expensive than others to arrive and depart from.
Check overseas carriers –
Search sites such as which budget.com for overseas budget carriers like Ryan Air, which flies within Europe and the U.K. for prices that seem more like cab fare than air fare.
Ship your luggage –
Consider sending your luggage via UPS, FedEx or a luggage shipping service. The cost is often less; you’ll avoid the crowd at the luggage carousel, and without baggage can comfortably take public transportation to your hotel.
Shop For Gifts Online –
Instead of lugging presents for friends and family with you, shop online and have gifts sent to your destination rather than to your home address.
Give yourself a pass –
If you’re going to a large city, consider buying a tourist pass that offers discounts on attractions, stores, restaurants and transportation.
Make the most of the season –
Whatever your destination, discover what’s special about the holiday there. Concerts, markets, elaborate windows and light displays are often free and just as exciting as activities you’d pay for.
Let’s face it, holiday travel is hectic, but don’t get overwhelmed because you will conquer it with ease. Whatever your plans are, be safe, have fun, and have a great holiday!