How to Save Money on Holiday Travel

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How to Save Money on Holiday Travel

  1. Take advantage of the free travel booking service at Help Me Travel Cheap.
  2. Book early.
  3. Check out Southwest Airlines – when you factor in baggage cost, it is hard to find a better price than Southwest.  However, you need to know they have an open seating policy that some people find annoying.  Learn more about Southwest family boarding policy.
  4. Set your travel plans around prices, not vice versa.  In other words, don’t say I’m leaving on the 24th, but look and see what days are the cheapest to fly and then decide what day you should leave.
  5. Consider booking on airlines that allow you to refund airline tickets if the price drops.
  6. Consider the value of driving versus flying as well as the value of using your own car or renting.
  7. Use these 10 tips for saving money on a road trip.
  8. Pack a meal for the plane.
  9. Minimize the amount of baggage you take.  I’ve even suggested that people buy clothes as second hand stores when they arrive instead of taking an extra bag.
  10. Visit Help Me Travel Cheap for some cool frugal family travel tips.

Here’s a bonus tip, use Costco for travel rentals.

What are your tips for saving money on holiday travel?


  1. says

    I’d like to expand on the benefits of driving as opposed to driving.

    If there are enough people on your trip who have their driver’s license, consider driving. People can take turns driving for an hour or two to share in the effort, and even split the costs of gas. It can even make for a fun road trip!

    And if you have a rewards card (such as 5% cash back on gas), make sure to use that for the gas purchases. Some cards even offer discounts with car rentals, so check with the card company.

    Years ago, our family would drive from L.A. to Vancouver in roughly 24 hours. With at least 3 people driving, we were able let others take breaks when they got tired.

  2. Thomas says

    When flying: Research/compare prices for neighboring airports (departure and destination). Airfares, parking fees, and car rental fees DO vary from airport to airport. Also, considering having a friend or family member drop you off at the airport, rather than leaving your car in long-term parking. $10.00 per day adds up VERY quickly.

    When renting a car: Beware of hidden fees and stick to your guns when you are checking out the rental car. If you are under 25, you’ll likely get charged an ‘under-aged’ premium PER DAY, which can double or triple the total cost of the rental. Also be sure to review all the charges before you sign your rental agreement. Often times, rental companies will add in insurance and various other charges (gas) at the time of checkout when all or most of the fees could have been covered on your own for substantially fewer dollars. And finally, do your research ahead of time to decide which rental car will suit you best. The attendant will likely try to talk you into a larger, more spacious vehicle than you actually need, which will cost you more money. STICK TO YOUR GUNS. If one of your suitcases ends up not fitting into the trunk, I’m sure you can squeeze it in somewhere temporarily until you get to your destination.

    When traveling long distances: Consider camping rather than staying in hotels. Or plan to stay with relatives or friends along the way.

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