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The holidays are just around the corner. Which means lots of money being spent on presents, parties, more presents, etc.
And for many of us, it’s also a time for traveling to see family and friends.
I've compiled a list of 20 simple ways you can save some money on your holiday travels.
Ways to Save on Gas
1 - Fill up on gas in state’s where gas is cheaper.
For example, gas in South Carolina is much cheaper than gas in North Carolina. So we try to stop somewhere in South Carolina to get gas if we’re headed in that direction.
You can use sites like Gas Buddy to help you find where gas prices will be the cheapest.
2 - Pay in cash.
Some gas stations give a discount if you pay in cash.
3 - Use fuel reward programs.
Some gas companies let you earn fuel rewards when you buy other items through certain merchants. And some gas stations connected with grocery stores let you earn fuel rewards for items purchased at that grocery store chain.
4 - Avoid driving near cities during busy hours.
Driving near or through a city means you’re more likely to get stuck in traffic. Which will then cause you to waste gas. Avoid cities during busy hours whenever possible.
Check out Google Maps to see if there's an alternate route you can take around the city.
5 - Avoid construction areas and tolls.
Check out Google Maps to see if there are any construction or toll roads along the route you’re planning to take. If so, see if there’s an alternate route you can take to avoid getting stuck in traffic or paying for tolls.
Image Source: Pixabay
Ways to Save on Food
6 - Bring your own food and beverages on a road trip.
Buying at a gas station is usually more expensive than at a grocery store. So pick up food and beverages at the grocery store before you leave. We like to bring things like fruit, trail mix, nuts, etc.
Remember to put anything perishable in a cooler with ice packs.
7 - Bring your own snacks on the plane.
Food at airports or on the plane is expensive. And that small bag of peanuts the flight attendant hands out doesn’t quite cut it. So, pack some apple slices, trail mix, etc. and put it in your carry on.
(Note: Make sure you bring at least one item that doesn't have peanuts in it...just in case there's someone on board with a severe peanut allergy. We had this happen once and we couldn't eat anything we brought with us.)
8 - Bring an empty bottle to airport.
Then fill up once you’re past security. Now you won’t have to pay for an overpriced bottle of water.
9 - Cook your own meals.
10 - Stay in a hotel with free continental breakfast.
Most offer cereal, yogurt, fruit, eggs, waffles, juice, coffee, etc. It’s included in the price of your hotel, so you might as well take advantage of it.
Image Source: Pixabay
Ways to Save on Hotel
11 - Book your hotel in advance.
If you wait to find a hotel until you’re on the road, you run the risk of not being able to find a hotel in your price range. But, if you book in advance, you’ll increase your chances of finding a hotel within your price range.
12 - Check out Airbnb as an alternative to a hotel.
Ways to Save on Airfare
13 - Check out alternative airports.
Often times there is more than one airport in an area or close by. Take a look at all airports before booking your flight. It might be cheaper to fly into or out of one of those other airports.
For example, when we used to fly to the Los Angeles area, we often would fly into John Wayne airport instead of LAX because it was cheaper.
14 - Book your flight at the right time.
If your plans are concrete, research shows that you’ll get the best prices if you book your flight in early October. And, no matter when you’re flying, check out sites like Kayak to help you find the best deal.
Ways to Save on Parking
15 - Stay at a hotel the night before.
Many hotels near an airport offer free shuttles to and from the hotel. Depending on the airport and the number of days you’ll be parking, it might be cheaper to pay for the hotel than for the parking fees.
16 - Get a friend to drop you off and pick you up.
If you can get a friend to drop you off and pick you up, you won’t have to pay for parking. Even if you pay for gas or give them a small thank you gift, you’ll still come out ahead.
17 - Use Uber or Lyft.
18 - Use Park ‘N Fly.
Parking at the airport can be expensive. And the long-term lots can fill up around the holidays, leaving you to pay more for the short-term lots. (This has happened to us the last two years.)
Park ‘N Fly offers parking and transportation to/from the airport. And you can book online, so you’re guaranteed parking.
Ways to Save on Entertainment
19 - Bring own entertainment on the plane.
Riding on the plane, especially for long trips, can be boring. So you might be tempted to pay for Wi-Fi or in-flight entertainment. But those can be expensive.
Instead, bring your own entertainment. For example, you could bring a book, Kindle, tablet, puzzle books, laptop, coloring books, or iPod.
Image Source: Pixabay
20 - Download entertainment in advance.
Amazon Prime and Netflix both allow you to download certain movies or shows for off-line viewing. You can also download books, podcasts, or games for off-line use. (Just don’t forget to fully charge your device.)
21 - Use Ebates to earn cash back when booking hotels, flights, and parking.
Ebates is a great way to earn cash back on online purchases at any time. But it's especially great for earning cash back on holiday travel.
Ebates offers cash back on purchases made online through many airlines and hotels. And you can earn cash back on purchases made through travel websites like Expedia and Travelocity.
To start earning, sign up for Ebates. Then, simply visit Ebates before you shop and click on their link to your favorite travel website. Make a qualifying purchase and you'll earn cash back.
The holidays are a time to spend time with family and friends. Not for worrying about how much it’ll cost to travel to see them.
I hope these tips will help you save some money so you can relax and enjoy the time with your family!
What’s your favorite tip on saving on holiday travel?