The costs of traveling can add up faster than most people even realize. From the flights to meals to emergency replacement toothbrushes, it's all too easy to overspend your budget. If you're hoping to avoid a negative bank balance while traveling over the holidays, keep the following in mind.
the globe, financial safety is also a concern. Here’s a closer look at seven travel tips aimed at helping you protect your money this summer and throughout the year.
Aggregate Your Options
Free aggregate apps like Priceline and Kayak are designed to price compare, so you can see the best deals. Gasdaddy shows you how much fuel you'll need if you're going over the river to grandma's house. You can also sign up for alerts when flight prices drop on apps like Hopper or services like Google Flights. Travel companies raise prices around this time of year, so savings often require you to plan ahead. Fly on a Tuesday and Wednesday for the cheapest fares and stay away from the weekend.
Research Discounts and Points
Now is a great time to look at the many deals companies are offering over the holidays. For example, many restaurants will offer a free gift card if you buy gift cards of a certain amount. This is a great way to treat your loved ones while getting a little extra in return. And if you're the proud owner of a travel credit card or a member of certain loyalty programs, you may be able to cash in on some of those incentives this year. Finally, compare how much it would cost to ship your luggage (including your presents) against baggage costs for the flight. Finally, make sure you have enough cash for the road, to avoid potential last-minute ATM charges.
Maximize Holiday Travel
As you plan through each day of your trip, consider what you're most likely to spend money on. Packing your own snacks and drinks can make a huge difference in cost savings. If you're really trying to travel smart, you can pack protein bars as a couple of meal substitutes. You can consider either traveling on the morning of a holiday (e.g., Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc.) or booking a hotel at the last minute. These are two well-known ways to save, though they may be riskier options.
While travel may not be the cheapest activity you can do, it typically beats spending these festive days alone. As long as you're paying attention, you'll start to see savings everywhere you turn. These tips are just a few suggestions to put you in the right mindset.