By Bianca Gentry
The winter holidays are approaching, and if you’re like millions of Americans, you’re planning to do some traveling in the next few months. But you’re already spending a fortune on gifts – how are you supposed to afford airfare too? Here are some tips for getting the best deals when it comes to holiday traveling.
Don’t wait. Buy as early as possible to get the best deal. Sometimes waiting until the last minute works, but if you try this over the holidays, you’ll end up paying way more.
Airlines usually put seats on sale on Tuesday afternoons, so checking for flights around that time could get you the best prices. But remember that holiday flights fill up fast, so don’t wait too long for a good deal or someone else will snatch it up.
Try to be flexible with your travel dates. Airfare will be highest on peak travel days, especially the day before Thanksgiving and the Sunday after. You could save a fortune if you’re willing to travel home the Monday after Thanksgiving instead. Try several different dates when you’re searching airfare and if possible, plan your trip around the best price.
Everyone hates layovers, but they do save money. Sure, it’s less convenient to make a stop or two, so if you value your time more than the difference in price, go for the nonstop. But if you really need to save, a layover flight is the way to go.
Try to fit your luggage in a carry-on to avoid checked bag fees. If you’re bringing gifts with you, it may be cheaper to ship them to your destination ahead of time, instead of checking an extra bag. If you’re only bringing a carry on, make sure your luggage complies with TSA’s baggage rules.
Check flights out of or into a different airport. You may need to drive an extra 30 minutes, but there’s a chance of cheaper tickets and fewer crowds – definitely worth it in my book!
Save time and skip the lines – check in and print your boarding passes from home. You’ll already need to leave early to allow yourself enough time to get through security, so checking in from home can definitely save you time and money.
Holiday travel can be an expensive pain, but if you follow our tips, your wallet will thank you, and you’ll be able to spend more quality time with your family this holiday season.
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