Posted on Thursday 05 November 2015
Holiday travel is not only stressful, but it can also be extremely expensive. Whether you're flying from British Columbia or you're driving to meet up with family and friends for the holidays--preplanning can make all the difference to your savings.
In other words, strategically timing your travel can help you save big and keep your finances in check at the same time. You don't want to let spending spiral out of control, and without proper management and planning it easily can. Our tips and tricks below will help you save a lot and allow you to enjoy your holiday travel with very little stress.
Remember, planning is the priority. For example, if you live in Ontario and you are going to be travelling to New York for the holidays, check flights early. Booking a flight early on is a tried and true strategy and will definitely save you financially, while eliminating anxiety and stress. You can catch a red-eye and save even more, as many don't like to travel in the late night, or early morning hours.
You should try to keep luggage reasonable as well because some airlines do charge extra for additional baggage, but then some offer deals too--so take the time to investigate your options when you're flying. And remember, most Canadians have found October is the best time of year to book your flights, so make an alert on your smartphone to stay up-to-date.
That's great if you're flying, but what if you're driving to your location? The same philosophy really still applies. Rental car rates fluctuate just like flights do, so plan ahead and know what kind of rental you're looking for. Having some cushion in your budget will ensure that you aren't scrambling for a cash advance loan on the day of departure.
Further, know what the rental company expects, such as: do they require a deposit, do they accept cash or do they require a credit card, how is mileage calculated--and more. Compare prices and try to get a rental with inclusive costs to save money.
Let's look at some other tips you might find helpful to stay on top of your budget during the holidays and all year, for that matter.
Hotel costs skyrocket over the holidays, but being frugal and choosing a loft or apartment vacation rental can save you a lot. AirBnB is the obvious place to look, but checking around for private offerings can save even more money by avoiding the fees.
Depending on where you're having to travel, sometimes you might hit an off-season where a rental unit is ten times cheaper than staying at the Marriott. Check it out and see what your options are before you book an expensive hotel.
Frequent stopping, or slow traffic can cause you to have to pay more for fuel and it is harder on your vehicle, rental or not. If you can plan out an easier drive to your destination and choose a day where traffic is only minimal, go with it. This will lower your fuel costs, improve driving conditions and absolutely lower stress levels. Remember too, time of day is critical to consider as well, so plan well.
Sometimes, depending on the season, train travel is far cheaper than flying or even driving--depending on how far you're travelling. For instance, Canadians in Vancouver have discovered flights from Vancouver to Seattle are extremely expensive during the holidays, which practically eliminates this option when you're trying to be frugal. However, travel by train in the winter is inexpensive (for most destinations) and is actually a lot of fun too. Do a little research and find out how you can save.
For travel, this can be an excellent way of saving. This applies to future planning and staging your holiday travel.
The best way to go about it is to start at the beginning of the year and put a little money aside each month for that big holiday getaway.
Once the time comes you'll have a cookie jar filled with savings and won't feel any extra pinch at all when it comes to the accommodations you choose and your chosen way of reaching your destination either. It makes sense, don't you think? Of course, this doesn't mean being wasteful, but you can relax just a bit more than the next person when you plan like this.