Travel saving tips are key if you are a traveler working with a budget.  We all know holiday travel can be very expensive and even cost-prohibitive for people who are trying to save money or repair their credit. However, you can still take steps to save money if you choose to travel during the festive season.  In this article, we share some tips that you can try today while you’re making your travel plans.

Below are seven travel saving tips to help you save more money on your holiday travels

Book as early as possible

At this point, it may be too late to book early, but you can still heed this advice for next year. The earlier you book your flights, the better the chances that you’ll get a great deal on your tickets. In addition, plan to travel on a Tuesday or Wednesday if possible, since these are the cheapest days to fly.  If you can, avoid traveling on the weekend. 

Use points and gift cards

Have you been saving up credit card points and gift cards for a major purchase? Purchasing flights for holiday travel may be the best time to use this “free money”, since it will help you avoid at least some of the inflated costs. Make sure to review all your loyalty programs because you could be missing out on rewards that you’ve forgotten. 

Use fare-tracking apps

travel saving tips

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Researching airfare and hotels can be overwhelming with so many options. You book something only to find that the price went down right after you booked.  Sigh!   Good thing there are apps to make this task easier.   There are apps like Hopper which monitor ticket and hotel prices for you.  If  it thinks that the price will likely go up or down, you will get a notification.  This will help you get the best price possible.  There are also lots of other travel apps that will also help you get the most for your money.

Don’t park at the airport

With millions of people taking to the air during the holidays, airport parking can really skyrocket.  Your best bet is to try and have someone drop you off or you can use a service like Uber or Lyft.   This will be a cheaper option than parking your own car.

Be flexible about the holidays

Sometimes, no matter how well you plan, you may discover that traveling for a holiday is simply impossible due to the cost. But who says that you have to celebrate Christmas on December 25th? Instead, be open to celebrating a holiday on an “off” day. Your family members will simply be happy to see you, and they won’t care if you don’t honor a day on the calendar. The perks of being flexible about the holidays is that you may even be able to exchange gifts early or have multiple versions of the same holiday! 

Consider taking the train

Yes, taking an airplane is quicker and probably more comfortable, but most of the time the more expensive option.  In some instances, a train can definitely be cheaper and save you time overall (no waiting in the security lines).  Websites like Wanderu can help you easily research what train prices would be for your destination.

Ship gifts ahead of you

travel saving tips

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Even if you’re able to book a reasonably-priced flight, you’ll still want to cut costs where possible. These days, many airlines charge high fees to check baggage. To avoid these fees, take a carry-on and ship your gifts instead. If your gifts aren’t very heavy, then shipping should cost less than checking a bag. Even better, you can get digital gifts like gift cards, or you can have an e-commerce retailer ship the gift directly to your recipient.

When money is tight, you can still enjoy the holidays with a little planning and creativity.  The above travel saving tips will help keep more money in your pocket and help you enjoy this special time of year even more.