The holidays will soon be here. Winter travel plans are being made, but inflation seems to have affected the budgets of many travelers. As a result, people are looking for cheaper ways to travel more often now than not.
An article at CNBC reports that as many as 79 percent of adults with travel plans are changing them because of inflation. They plan on taking fewer trips this winter, a shorter one, or are looking for cheaper ways to travel. Here are some tips on how you can travel for less.
Book Now for the Best Prices
Remember that airlines have not fully recovered from the pandemic yet and are still short on staff and aircraft. The number of people wanting to travel for the upcoming holidays continues to increase. That makes it all the more important to book your flight early.
Although you may be able to find last-minute travel deals, in general, it is often the worst time to try to book a cheap flight. Tickets are likely to be at their highest prices, and many airlines may no longer have seats available.
Select Out-of-the-Way Destinations
Taking a trip where everyone else is going will be more expensive than if you choose a less-traveled destination. Save your trips to popular areas in the off-season for lower prices. Less-popular destinations are also going to be less expensive.
Look at Various Airports in the Area
Catching a plane to a large airport can have several problems, including layovers and canceled flights. Smaller airlines often go to nearby airports—smaller ones—that may give you lower prices. They also may have nearby hotels, cheaper car rentals, and less traffic.
If you are going to fly, keep an eye on the weather where you make connecting flights and at your destination. In bad weather, you could end up stuck in a city where you had no intention of staying.
Flight delays are less likely to occur if you head toward a warmer climate for your winter vacation. If you suspect that bad weather might hinder your arrival time, SummerTravel suggests that you call your airline and see if they can give you a different flight and reroute you.
Another option is to see if you can fly via southern cities, which are less likely to be affected by snowstorms. Although they do not occur often, do remember that southern cities are less prepared to handle the snow. If you can travel in the morning, you may still be able to catch a flight if your plane becomes grounded for some reason.
Use Travel Advisors
Many websites offer travel packages to destination cities. They also have cheap, all-inclusive vacations that you and your family may enjoy. Package travel deals enable you to save money because they often have agreements with the airlines and resorts or hotels. Just enter your destination and look for travel deals. Shop around among websites to discover the best flight and hotel packages.
Travel sites like Expedia can give you more than flight and hotel packages. All-inclusive vacation packages enable you to bundle everything you need at a low price. Packages can include car rentals and the option of staying in a short-term home or a beachfront condo.
Some hotel chains may give discounts if you stay more than three nights. One chain that offers a unique touch—but is less expensive than many hotels—is Sonder. It has rooms in many major cities around the world and will give you 25 percent off when you stay for a week and 40 percent off for longer stays.
Buy Your Tickets Early
The best deals are for people who book early. Ticket prices rise the closer you get to the holidays, especially within two weeks of the special days. KCRA, for example, says that for the Thanksgiving holidays, you should be booked before Halloween to get good deals. For a Christmas holiday, you want to book your flight by Thanksgiving.
When you have multiple stops, Forbes says you can save money by flying the last leg of your trip on a low-cost airline. Since they only serve local airports, they will be glad for your business. Although the airports are smaller, they have the advantage of fewer delays.
Take a Train
If you are going to a place where trains are readily available, train travel can be more relaxing. Trains are common in the northeast (Amtrak) and some parts of Europe, England, and Japan. CNN says that Amtrak lets you carry two bags of 50 pounds each for free. Even better, trains have larger seats and are often less crowded, letting you relax more. You also will not need to worry about traffic jams or delayed flights.
Driving Is Often Cheaper
If the distance is not too great to drive, you may want to reach your destination by car. It is generally cheaper than flying, and it will let you avoid the crowds at the airport and the possibility of a canceled flight. You can leave when you are ready and travel without paying any baggage fees.
Being in a car gives you the advantage of making stops along the way if you want to visit attractions. You can also stop to eat where and when you want. There will not be any car rental fees to pay if you drive your car, and finding a hotel to stay in is easier.
You can expand your experience on the road if you decide to travel in a campervan or RV. Campsites for these vehicles are cheaper than hotels. If you are looking for a place to rent an RV in your area, you can find a list by state at OutDoorsy, where hundreds of RV rental sites are listed.
Whether looking for family vacation packages, all-inclusive resorts, or cheap trips this winter, you can probably save money if you look around. Avoid buying the first tickets you find online and dig a little deeper. Better deals are there if you search.
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