The holiday season is so magical it begs for winter adventures! Whether you’re seeing family or opting for solo exploration, there are ways to keep your holiday travel affordable without compromising the experience.
Depending on when and where you’re travelling, holiday journeys can either be some of the most expensive or some of the most affordable ventures you can take. You just need to know how to find those extra savings. Here are four ways to make sure your holiday voyage doesn’t drain your savings.
When you travel makes a big difference
There are a lot of myths around booking flights. From booking on a Tuesday to using private browsers, these rumours have circulated since the dawn of online booking. Much of the time, it’s not only about when you book your flight; it’s about what day and time you choose to fly.
Flying mid-week is less expensive than flying on the weekend. The reason for that is simple: more people fly on the weekends, so that drives up the price, especially when it comes to holiday destinations. Late night and early morning flights also tend to be much more affordable. No one likes getting up at 3 a.m. to catch a flight! But if you’re willing to sacrifice some shut-eye, you can save a pretty penny by selecting one of those “undesirable” flights.
Lastly, think about how most people travel for the holidays. They typically want to arrive at their destination before the big day. That means flights on Christmas Day (or other major holidays) can be among the most affordable.
Pack light and save on extra costs
Doesn’t it seem like airlines charge you for *everything*?. There’s a fee for baggage, food and even headphones for the in-flight movie! Nothing comes cheap when it comes to flying, but it can be easy to work around all those extra charges.
The most obvious way to save is to pack light and not check any extra bags. That’s easier said than done when it’s winter and your parka alone could fill your carry-on bag. So don’t pack it; wear it (and all your biggest and heaviest clothes) on the plane instead to keep your bags light. After all, you don’t have to keep your coat on for the entire flight, and it can be used as a comfy blanket while you’re in the air.
When packing your clothes, remember that non-bulky layers are your best friend. Packing heavy layers and scarves can take up precious bag room. Instead, opt for light and thinner wear, and remember you can always layer up.
Not all destinations are created equal
How many people do you figure go to Hawaii or Paris for the holidays? It would be a fair guess to say a lot. The more flying to a specific destination drives up the price. Your ideal holiday adventure might be Paris, but there is just as much to see and do in other cities that don’t have the same draw.
Maybe your holiday journey takes you to Seattle to explore the coffee culture (there’s nothing better than hot coffee in winter). Or to Las Vegas to see a holiday-themed magic show. Paris is amazing, but if you’re looking to save a few dollars, there may be better options than the city of light.
Break up your travel
If Paris is an absolute must-see, a layover could be key to keeping that flight affordable. Flying direct, especially to high demand destinations, can drive the price up compared to flying first to less in-demand destinations.
If you’re feeling adventurous, book your flight to London (Gatwick airport, not Heathrow) or to Frankfurt, Germany, then catch a train across the continent to your final destination. This is a great way to see and experience even more in a single trip.
If you do plan on breaking up your travel before your final destination, book your flights separately. Buy one flight from one website for your first destination, then buy your second flight from another website. This way your trip won’t be automatically packaged with your final destination driving up the price.
One final piece of advice: don’t be afraid to pick up a phone and call the airline you’re booking with. More often than not, they have access to deals and specials you might not find online and can help you save on your flights. They may even know the best stopovers to make sure you’re getting the lowest price for your holiday excursion.
We want to keep this conversation going! Where would you explore for the holiday season? Are there any cost-saving tips we missed here? Like us on Facebook and Twitter to add your holiday travel tips!