Whether you are heading to see friends and family or taking a beach vacation for the holidays, travel can be an expensive headache. But, spending the holidays where you want to doesn’t have to dampen your spirit or drain your wallet. The financial experts at Broussard Poché, LLP have a few tips that could keep you a little merrier at Grandma’s house this year.
- Choose Wisely and Stick with it: Once you decide where you want to go, stick with that decision. Once flights, hotels, and rentals are booked it can cost big bucks to back out. Even changing the dates can come with steep financial penalties.
- Be Flexible: Even a day or a week can make a difference. Look into booking tickets on an odd day like Tuesday or Monday. Try not to book flights on the Wednesday before or Sunday after Thanksgiving. Paying attention to the flexible days that many airlines offer can save time and money. This may seem a bit extreme, but some families choose to celebrate the weekend before the actual holidays to avoid the hassle and cost.
- Shop Around: Once you decide on dates and a destination, shop around for deals. Go to websites that do the legwork for you, like Priceline or Kayak. If you are not staying with family consider a local rental or Airbnb. Remember, don’t just book the first hotel you see, many times there are extra deals to be had. Look for online coupons and even package deals that might include discounts on flights and rental cars.
- Book Flights ASAP: If you are positive about your dates and destination, book the flight ASAP. Flights can easily double over night. And depending on where you live, you may be working with only a few airlines. Typically, the cheapest flights are found on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. So, if you can, book departing or returning flights on those days.
- Ship luggage: Most airlines charge for checked bags and in some cases carry-on bags as well. If you are going for an extended stay you may want to ship your bags. Most ground shipping companies offer a few ways to price; do a little price comparison. You might save big by shipping those bags and gifts.
Before you head out for the holidays the experts at Broussard Poché, LLP suggest you come up with a daily budget. Being out of your element can lead to overspending on things like meals, drinks and even last-minute gifts. Safe travels!