In Tips & Advice

There’s No Place Like Home for The Holidays

Family gathered around table at dinner

You’ve decked your halls, purchased and wrapped one too many gifts and filled your closet with as many tacky Christmas sweaters as you could find! Holiday parties have been attended, Hallmark movies watched and now it’s time to travel home to spend time with the ones you love. If you have a strict holiday budget in place, it is very likely that the thought of purchasing plane tickets is causing you to feel less like Old Saint Nick and a little more like the Grinch. Don’t worry, though – There are many ways in which you can save money during your travels this holiday season!

Consider the Options: Planes, Trains and Automobiles

While the movies make jumping on an airplane and heading home for the holidays look effortless and glamorous, we all know that it is far from the truth. During the holiday months, the airport can resemble that of an amusement park – people running every which way. However, there are many travel options that can keep you out of the airport during these heavy travel times and potentially save you money in the long run. While it’s not feasible for all trips, some may allow for travel via trains and automobiles.

When choosing your travel method, one thing to consider is how much time you have available. A plane ride may be the most expensive but will probably take the least amount of time. The train may take much longer, but be the cheapest method. The major benefit to driving is that you will already have a car within your destination and you can save money by avoiding a car rental!

Be Proactive

Like many things in life, it is easiest to find good deals if you are proactive! You are provided with more options and can take advantage of more holiday sales. You may be telling yourself, “Christmas is only a few days away – this is impossible!” The good news is you can take advantage of the last-minute sales. In order to find the best prices, you will want to check popular travel sites such as Kayak, Expedia and Orbitz but also directly with airlines such as Southwest Airlines and Virgin America.

If you’ve already purchased your plane ticket but have found a better price online, you can still take advantage of these last-minute sales. While not guaranteed, many airlines will work with you and provide a travel voucher if a better price happens to arise. You will just need to call the agents’ desk and let them know that you saw a better price listed on their website. They will confirm the price difference and then provide you with the voucher.

Flexibility Pays

When it comes to holiday travel, being flexible and going with the flow can actual help you not only avoid crowded airports and long lines but also help keep travel costs down. The days directly leading up to Christmas and the weekend that follows is when most travelers purchase tickets. Due to this, ticket prices are highest. Avoid these steep costs and packed planes by traveling a little earlier in the week.

Celebrate Christmas 35,000 feet in the Air

While it may not seem ideal, the best way to score good deals on holiday flights is to fly on the actual holiday! Purchasing a ticket for Christmas morning is not only lower in price but also results in a festive and empty airport! Christmas Day travel is in lower demand, as opposed to the day before and after. If you want to go home for the holiday but are on a very strict budget, this is a good option.

Take these simple steps and make it home for the holidays without breaking the bank. Most importantly, once the bags are packed and the tickets are purchased, remember to enjoy yourself! Take time to relax, celebrate with your family and friends and enjoy the season.

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