6 Tips to Save on Holiday Travel

Written By Mary Beth Eastman
Last updated December 1, 2017

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Money Saving Tips
December 1, 2017

Simple. Thrifty. Living.

For many people, the holiday season means traveling to visit relatives. Unfortunately, the high demand for travel services can make driving and flying more expensive. Use these six tips to save money on your holiday travel.


As long as you have a reliable vehicle, you can usually save money by driving instead of flying to your destination. Gas prices might go up, but you’ll still spend less money by driving than by buying airline tickets.


If you have to fly, you should try to avoid peak travel days when prices often skyrocket. That includes the day before Thanksgiving, which is one of the most expensive days of the year to fly. You could save hundreds of dollars by flying on less popular days.


Pack light so you won’t have to check any luggage. Many airlines charge $20 to $35 for your first checked bag. If you have an additional bag, you can expect to pay $75 or more.

If you have a lot of items and presents to carry, then you should consider mailing them to your destination a few days before you start traveling. Mailing a box of presents costs much less than checking an extra bag at the airport.


Traveling usually means that you end up spending a lot of money at restaurants and airport food courts. Pack your own food so you don’t have to spend as much during your travel. Good food options include:

  • Granola bars
  • Muffins
  • Sandwiches that don’t include dairy
  • Trail mix
  • Dried fruit


On average, hotels cost about $130 per night. You can avoid that expense by staying with friends or relatives. If you have to stay in a hotel, use a travel site to find an inexpensive option.


Most travel websites give you a discount when you book multiple services at once. Bundle your flights, car rentals and hotel rooms to decrease the overall amount that you have to spend on those services. Some of the best sites for travel deals include:

  • Travelocity
  • Kayak
  • Travelzoo
  • HolidayPirates

Check several sites to make sure you get the best deal possible.

Holiday travel doesn’t have to ruin your family’s budget. Follow these tips and make smart choices that will help you travel inexpensively this year.

About the Author

Mary Beth Eastman

Mary Beth Eastman serves as the content manager for Simple. Thrifty. Living, where she is dedicated to helping readers use money and credit wisely. Mary Beth believes that access to the right financial information paired with a growth mindset are essential tools for getting out of debt and building wealth. Mary Beth has a degree in Journalism from Bowling Green State University and has focused her 20-year journalism career on putting readers front and center, carefully considering their concerns and presenting information that will help them in their everyday lives. She has won numerous statewide journalism awards. Her writing on personal finance as been featured on numerous websites in addition to Simple. Thrifty. Living, including Huffington Post and Lexington Law blog. Mary Beth resides in Pittsburgh, Pa., with her family and two rescue dogs.

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