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With the holidays upon us, travel is probably on your mind or you may already be in the middle of your holiday travels. You may have family in another state or country or may finally have time off from work to actually take a vacation. No matter what the reason, you’ll want to get to your destination as cheaply as possible. Without sacrificing comfort or risking the chance of being booted from your flight, here are some ways you can reduce your holiday travel costs.
- Be willing to fly into an airport in another city if it saves you money. If you can travel the rest of the way by bus or train for less, by all means do it! Factor in the extra time it takes to get to your destination and that will determine whether or not this is a viable option for you and your itinerary.
- Watch for sales and use coupons when allowed. Most airlines have blackout dates but some do offer specials during the holidays as a way to fill seats. Keep your eyes open for the bargains and you may just score yourself a roundtrip plane ticket for less. And make sure to use a good travel rewards credit card so you can build up even more points or miles when booking your flights.
- Fly on the holiday. Many people want to arrive to their destination early. If this is not a possibility for you, consider flying on the holiday. Many people report that it’s one of the most economical ways to travel. The plane will be less crowded and airlines are more flexible because they want to fill seats.
- Travel in a group and split the cost of accommodations. Many hotels offer family suites which are spacious and affordable. They have full sized kitchens and sofa beds. There is also enough room for a cot or two. Divided amongst two or three people, this is an extremely cheap way to stay in the city of your choice.
- Take advantage of free WiFi. If your hotel doesn’t offer this amenity, don’t fret. Starbucks, McDonalds, and public libraries offer complimentary Internet access. You can do everything you would do at home-surf the web, update social media accounts, and send email for free.
- Forgo eating in restaurants and prepare your meals instead. If you’re traveling with your family, this is a very cost efficient way to do so. You can prepare many types of food without a stove or oven. You just have to be creative. Visit the local supermarket for inspiration. Chances are, you’ll have a refrigerator in your hotel or motel room. You can easily store perishables there.
- Buy your own bottled water and carry a Thermos with you in the car. It’s easy to purchase H2O and freeze it for the trip. The second is true about hot water. You can prepare hot tea, instant coffee, and even hot chocolate easily in a Thermos. If you’re really ambitious, you can even prepare Ramen Noodles in it by allowing the noodles to sit awhile to “cook”.
Sometimes holiday travel is a necessity but spending every dollar in your wallet or pocketbook is not feasible in this economy. Take advantage of these simple tips and stretch your budget further. Who knows! You may even have fun coming up with new ways to save money while you travel!
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About the Author: Charissa Arsaoui is a freelance writer with a love for thrift. She contributes to many different personal finance blogs.