Fun Friday: Cheddar-Saving Travel Tips

Yep, with the holidays in full swing we’re all wondering how to save some money, particularly in the costly area of travel. Found an incredible article courtesy of Real Simple that I had to share! Without further ado:

1. Book Early and Save

Figure out ahead of time where you’re going to spend the holidays and book as soon as you decide! Early planning results in the best deals!

2. Buy Your Tickets Now

News flash: Travel fares only go up as the holidays draw near, so book now. Check out the Bing price predictor to see if fares are expected to go up or down within the next week, so you can figure out the ideal day to buy. Once your’e ready, check the best online discount travel sights and, sigh, breath easy when you’ve booked.

3. Don’t Drive Yourself to the Airport

I had to learn this one the hard way. Airport parking prices take a steep hike around the holidays (high demand, folks). See if a friend can drive you to the airport. No dice? Call a cab or van or check out public transportation.

4. Get There Early

Sounds obvious? During the holidays it is extremely important to leave extra time for seasonal travel madness. Your planning will be wasted if you miss your flight. Assume the worst: expect terrible traffic and long lines at check-in and security. Leave extra early! Don’t add stress to the holidays with a sprint to the departure gate.

5. Don’t Wrap Your Gifts Ahead of Time

I know, I know. Not what you expected, but with added security around the holidays, TSA personnel may unwrap presents for inspection. Pack some wrapping paper or gift bags in your luggage and wrap upon landing.

6. Be Smart About Your Suitcase

Don’t fall prey to overweight baggage fees. Pack lightly, weight your suitcase before leaving so as to avoid unpleasant surprises, and register checked bags online before heading to the airport–they often give you a break in the fees if you sign up online. If you’re not lugging a lot of gifts, go minimalist and fly with just a carry-on.

7. Get Free Upgrades

No harm in trying! If you’re bumped on an oversold flight, try to negotiate for an upgrade on your next flight. If you’re a frequent flier or club member with the airline you’re flying with, you can also try to score an upgrade. Arrive early if you plan to try this: a lot harder to negotiate in a rush.

8. Fly the Day of the Holiday

This little trick can score you a great deal. Most people want to get to their destinations on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, making those flights particularly expensive. The same goes for Christmas. Check out flights the morning of the holiday itself to see if better deals are available–tell any skeptical relative it’s better for your budget.

9. Plane, Train, or Automobile

Don’t brush off other modes of transportation. Given how expensive airline tickets are, it may actually be cheaper to travel by another means. Crunch the numbers, and compare not only the cost, but the amount of time and ease of each method as well. You may find that driving by car, bus, or train may actually be your best option–especially since, without air traffic delays, you’ll be more or less guaranteed to arrive when you intended.

Sandy Hayden

Photo Credit: Jaunted, Arizona Foot Hills, and Mom Aboard.
Content Credit: Real Simple

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