The holidays have arrived which means a lot of shopping and traveling is about to ensue. Here are some helpful little tricks to save money on holiday season travel in order to better allocate your hard-earned dough towards that extensive gift list.
Bid on Booking
Aside from being your standard travel-booking site, Priceline lets users “Name Your Own Price” – aka place a bid on a flight or a hotel below the asking price. Once you’ve submitted an offer, you’ll either receive a message on the screen saying it went through or be prompted to try again.
It’s pseudo high stakes in a sense where you do lose the ability to choose exact timing of your travels, but the reward pays off – often times you receive deep savings, snatching flights and hotels that are 50 percent off the regular price.
Get a Travel-Friendly Credit Card
Try applying for a travel-friendly credit card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred. You gain 40,000 reward points when you open an account – points that can be put towards flights, hotels and multiple retail partners like Macy’s. Additionally, every time you dine out or swipe the card for a travel-related purchase, such as plane tickets, you get double points. It’s a great way to capitalize on the inevitable spending that takes place during the holiday season.
Hotel prices skyrocket during the holidays. Opt for a money-saving alternative like Airbnb. It works like this: property owners rent their spot out for short-term stays, allowing you to crash their pads while they are gone for way cheaper than a hotel. Easily find places by filtering your requirements on the site or mobile app and a list of available housing options pops up with specifics including reviews from previous visitors.
Not only is the affordable cost a plus when using Airbnb, but you can really feel at home, getting a more local vibe versus being situated in an ultra-touristy location where hotels usually reside.
Bring Your Own Snacks
Ever buy a bag of gummy worms at the airport for three times the normal price? That’s how they get you. When you’re strapped for cash during the holidays, avoid unnecessary spending on airport food by bringing your own to the airport. It may seem miniscule but if you’re covering a meal for the entire family and little Johnny also wants that $7 mini-size pack of creepy crawlers, buying before you get there makes a whole lot more sense.
Obviously booking holiday travel plans sooner rather than later is always better due to the larger volume of demand, so as soon as your know your dates, book right away.
Moreover, you may have heard that Tuesdays are the cheapest days to purchase flights. Well, a recent study by Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC) now shows that Sunday is the new Tuesday. So if prices are looking real outrageous on a Thursday, take a chance and wait until Sunday to see if they go down a bit.
Being conscious of expenditures during holiday travel is a smart way to save. ‘Tis the season of giving – use these tips to your advantage and put your money towards better things, like fulfilling the wish list to Santa.
– By Samantha B. Rivers, Editor