How to Save Money Travelling During Peak Season Holidays
December 07, 2017
The holiday season is a wonderful time of year to travel. Whether it means travelling to spend time with family or taking your time off to enjoy that trip you’ve waited all year for, the holidays allow us a bit of a break from our everyday lives.
Sadly, everyone seems to love travelling during the holidays. This equates to airlines and hotels raising their rates due to the increased demand. Travelling during the holiday season can make our travel budget not stretch as far as it normally would, but there are some tricks you can use to beat the system. Follow these helpful tips if you are planning to travel this holiday season and want to save a bit of cash.
Avoid Peak Travel Dates
When it comes to the holidays, people tend to travel on the same days. If you make yourself flexible with dates around the holidays, you can save quite a bit. Generally airports reach their peak traffic during the week leading up to Christmas and then again in the first few days after the New Year when travellers return home.
By flying on Christmas Day, you can save 20%-30% on airfares in many cases and you will save even more the longer you hold off returning home after January 1st.
Watch for Flight Deals
Your best bet for scoring the cheapest airfare is to book as early as possible. Flights around the holidays are guaranteed to fill up so being one of the first ones to purchase will equate to cheaper costs. The Australian winter months are not too early to start thinking of purchasing your travel for the holidays as you will find your lowest costs may be offered from about July to mid-November.
Airlines also run flash sales during the year in which other airlines will often match or lower their airfares as well. Some airlines may offer fly and stay package options as well which could save you money for your overall holiday.
Look Into One-Way Tickets
Depending on the airline, round-trip tickets usually are the more economical option. However, during the holidays you may find that booking separate one-way airfares are cheaper than round-trip tickets. This is because it gives you the option to use different airline carriers which may be offering better prices on different days. Choose the best flight deals offered by airlines on the days you wish to travel.
This option may also come in handy where you plan to bring a lot of luggage in the form of Christmas gifts one way but are not planning on bringing much back. You can choose a larger more expensive airline which includes baggage on the way out and opt for the budget airline which offers very minimal baggage on your flight back home.
Travel to Destinations Which Don’t Celebrate Christmas
Because Christmas is a religious holiday commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ, not all countries celebrate the annual tradition as they practice other religions. Throughout Southeast Asia, you will find very few countries celebrate Christmas meaning travel to these destinations during the holiday season may not be at inflated prices.
Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam are all good options if you are looking for something closer to home or you can head to the Middle East which also offers numerous countries not partaking in the Christmas holiday.
Consider a Cruise
Although cruises around the holiday season may carry a higher price tag much like flights and accommodation, it may be a less stressful option for enjoying the holidays. This may be especially true for families as all your meals, accommodation, activities, and transportation are all in one place. Because many things are included like meals, entertainment, and activities, a cruise may end up being a more affordable holiday option.
Cruises to the South Pacific and New Zealand are offered throughout the holiday season and are good options for Australians wanting to get away on the high seas this time of year.
Use of Your Credit Card or Hotel Loyalty Points
If you have credit card or hotel points, now may be the time to use them. Many times hotels charge a flat point rate for a night stay regardless of the time of year, meaning you may get the most bang for your buck out of your points. Similarly, many hotel sponsored credit cards may offer free annual anniversary nights for holding their card. By using your anniversary night for a stay during the holidays, you will get a free night when prices are at their highest. Just remember to book early so as to be assured availability.
Purchase Travel Insurance
Although this may seem to only add cost to your holiday travel, it could end up saving you a great deal should something unfortunate happen. Lost bags, flight cancellations/delays, natural disasters, and other emergencies can all happen during the holidays.
You also run the risk of racking up large medical bills should you be travelling internationally without travel insurance and need medical care. Searching for and purchasing travel insurance quotes online is quick and easy so there really is no excuse. Many policies can be had for very affordable rates.
Select Hotels Offering Free Meals
Many hotels offer free daily breakfast which could save you a great deal in meal costs especially if you are travelling as a family. You may also want to look into choosing a room with lounge access as many hotel lounges offer complimentary nightly hors d'oeuvres and refreshments as well as free snacks throughout the day.
Stay With Family
Of course one of the best ways to save money during your holiday travels is to stay with family or friends. Many of us travel during the holidays in order to spend time with the ones we love most, so this is usually a really good option. Remember to minimize your impact on your family hosts, help with daily chores, and respect their house rules or this “free accommodation” option may end up costing you dearly in the long run.
Minimize luggage during your holiday travels so as to avoid baggage fees which have gone up considerably in many cases within the last few years. It may be a better option to ship Christmas gifts you are planning to travel with or have online orders drop shipped to the location where you will be spending the holidays.
Avoid wrapping gifts as they may have to be opened and inspected by airport security. You can pack gift wrap or flat gift bags to wrap your gifts once you arrive. Shopping duty free for gifts may be another option when travelling internationally but be aware of restrictions and allowances imposed by countries including Australia.