It seems like holiday travel gets more expensive each year. Between the actual cost of getting to your final destination and all the extras this time of year it’s no wonder our stress is at an all-time high. As a holiday traveler I am always struck by how all those “extras” add up.
We tend to forget all of the extra costs associated with air travel after our tickets are purchased. Between the extra baggage fees and meals at the airport your wallet will be hurting before you even get to your destination.
- Ship gifts. Rather than rack up all those extra baggage fees, buy gifts online and have them shipped directly to your final destination. Amazon is the perfect place to score those gifts, and they even let you ship to separate locations. It’s not too late, try an Amazon Prime account free for 30 days and get free two-day shipping for the entire month.
- Pack snacks. This may sound like your mother talking, but the cost of airplane and airport food is incredibly high. Something as simple as running by the store the night before you leave can save you in the long run, plus that $2 Chex Mix will save you on that cross-country flight.
- Planes, trains and automobiles! If you are like me, my travel day does not end at the airport. We must either take a train or rent a car to get to our final destination. Renting a car might be the better option for you. If you know your specific dates Priceline is great option. You can bid on your car rental, which can save you up to 50% off!
- Time your flights accordingly. You may find a great deal on a flight that lands at 11 p.m., but add up all the extras associated with an off-time flight, such as a hotel room, car service and extra meals. You may be better off booking a flight that fits your schedule even if it costs a bit more.
- If you can be flexible in regards to time, red-eye options tend to be less pricey and won’t eat up an entire day.
- Depending on the length of your trip it may be more cost-effective to park at the airport rather than take a cab.
When traveling by car this season there are a few extras that can go along way.
- Budget accordingly. Unlike air travel, we don’t purchase our tickets ahead of time. With all the extras this holiday season, don’t forget to include travel costs, even if it’s by car.
- Preparation can save you a fair amount of money in the long run. Something as simple as mapping out your journey can save you on time, money and stress.
- Save on gas with help from sites such as GasBuddy, which helps you find the best gas prices nearby.
- Rent a car. This may not seem like the budget-friendly option, however takeinginto account the wear and tear that will be placed on your car, renting a car may be the smarter option for you. Hertz is offering renters $30 off weekly rentals through Jan. 1, 2014.
- If you do need a hotel, Orbitz is offering an additional 15% off hotels with promo code CELEBRATE .
Don’t let your wallet suffer, travel can been stressful and costly – especially during this time of year. A bit of preparation can save you big in the long run.