Holidays are famous for people finding time for their loved ones and notorious for the amount of money we spend. From a Christmas tree to numerous presents, there are a lot of holiday-related expenses your budget will have to endure but there is one that can cost you more than all of that combined – your traveling arrangements. So, here are a few pieces of advice to help you spend less this year on holiday travel.
Frugality through booking in advance
If we were talking about any other time of the year instead of the holiday season, then waiting for the last moment to book a flight could be a good idea. However, since that is generally the busiest time of the year, the airlines have no reason to decrease the price of tickets due to high sales.
This is why, in case you are planning to travel by plane, you need to take a look at your options long before the trip itself since early bookings may save you something or at least, you will be making sure you don’t pay a significant sum with your last-minute purchase.
Be as flexible with dates as possible
Following the above-mentioned logic, it would be quite convenient if you were relatively flexible with time. Naturally, you would need an understanding boss who wouldn’t mind taking time off one or two days earlier than you first anticipated and in case you are your own boss, understanding clients.
This is because the plane, train or bus tickets might be cheaper two days before Christmas so you might consider coming early to your parents’ house but again, only if your work won’t suffer and if you have enough days off. The same goes for coming back, so for example, if you can take an additional day off, returning to work on Tuesday, instead of Monday can save you money.
Be economical regarding petrol
If you are traveling by car, then petrol is your biggest expense but just as with bus, train or plane tickets, there are ways to decrease it. As you know, not all petrol pumps have the same prices and even though in some cases the price difference may not seem too significant to you, on a full tank, that you would probably need for your trip, this difference becomes important.
Also, many people aren’t aware that they can actually save money with particular credit cards. For instance, by using a petrol credit card you can earn cashback and discounts when you refuel at affiliated partners’ petrol pumps. This strategy is, besides convenient, a long-term one so it is vital you choose the most suitable credit card for petrol.
Research inexpensive restaurant options
Those who have traveled abroad know that not planning meals on your trip can up your travel expenses by a lot. There are people who go on a spendthrift when they are on holidays but even such individuals may find themselves uncomfortably surprised by the prices in some restaurants.
Instead of being in the middle of an awkward situation where you wish to leave the restaurant after glancing at the prices and wondering whether those numbers aren’t prices but some codes, it is best to scan the area you would be staying at for supermarkets, fast food places or affordable restaurants. You would want to go where the locals go, so if in doubt, you can ask them for a recommendation on the spot.
Pay a visit to your friends and family
If you don’t have a particular wish regarding the location but instead you just want to skip town, you should consider visiting a friend or your family. In this manner, you would be joining pleasure and practicality because you would spend time with those who are dear to you and at the same time, save money you would spend on accommodation.
Naturally, you would want to take them out for drinks or prepare a meal to thank them for their hospitality but even taking them out for lunch to a good restaurant will cost you much less than a few nights at a hotel. Next year they might decide to return the visit so that can be the perfect time to show how much you appreciate their hospitality.
Find the cheapest way to get to the airport
Regardless of in which city or country you live in, airports need to be on the outskirts so chances are you would need to organize transportation to get you there. Taking a cab is what people often do but if you live far away from the airport, you can expect to pay a hefty sum, even with an Uber.
Driving to the airport is also not a good idea since keeping your car parked for a few days there might cost you an arm and a leg. The best option is to ask a friend or a relative to drive you to the airport and pick you up: you can pitch in for petrol (perhaps even with that petrol credit card of yours) or pay them back by doing them a favor later on.
Instead of canceling visits because of a pricy plane ticket or skimping on presents, it is best you use these clever tricks to save money on travel arrangements.