Traveling for the Holidays? 5 Ways to Save While Flying
We all love the holidays, but traveling can be such a drain on your time and money. Don’t skip out on seeing family because of expenses. Save a little extra by using these tips to help stretch your dollar a little further.
- Pack Your Snacks: The airport food generally is expensive and a toss up to the quality. You never know if your $20 sandwich is going to be good or if it’s going to taste like garbage; either way, it costs you $20. Save money by bringing your own food. Yes, you can get through TSA with foods, as long as there is nothing liquid or semi-liquid. You’ll need extra time to have TSA check your food, but they won’t confiscate it. It’ll save you time in the gate by not standing in line, and you’ll save money.
- Save On Baggage: Plan out what you need for your trip. Wear your large outer layer clothes, and pack the smaller items in a small duffle bag or bookbag as a carry on. Be very minimalist about what you bring. You can wash your clothes at the other destination, and only pack the essential toiletries. That way, you can still pack everything you need without paying the extra “Checking” fee.
- Be Flexible: You’ll save more money if you are flexible with where you stay. Hotel prices go up 2 weeks before your stay, and they’ll drop down to cheaper prices days before you arrive. You’ll get better rates last minute because the hotels will want to fill up their rooms, and they are willing to drop the price to get you to stay with them. You may not get your favorite hotel, but it’ll still be a decent place to stay, while you get to see family and the sites. You can save more money and use it to buy more gifts with.
- Buy Tickets Sooner Than Later: The airlines, on the other hand, work the other way around. You’ll get better rates by planning your trips out in advance. The holidays create a high demand for plane tickets. The airlines aren’t worried about filling up the flights. They know that’ll happen, which is why it’s better to get a jump start on purchasing the tickets. If you aren’t picky about the time that you fly, then you can also choose the less desirable late night flights to get a better deal.
- Don’t Park At the Airport: Airport parking adds up quick. It can be anywhere from $10-15 a day. If your trip is several days long, then you could be paying $100 for parking alone. Find a friend who is able to drive you to the airport and back to save you that extra cash. Or, if a friend isn’t able, see if it’s cheaper to get a ride with a taxi, Uber, or Lyft. Even though it may cost you $30 for a ride, it’s much cheaper than the $100 you would have spent on parking.
Be smart about how you pack and plan for your trip to save you some extra cash. It helps to know the process so you know how to work the system to your benefit. There are also apps that you can download like Skyscanner, and hoteltonight to help you find great deals. Fly safe and savvy!