Save Money When Traveling for the Holidays
It is possible to save money when traveling for the holidays. Sometimes you need to think about different destinations and be flexible with your dates.
When our kids were younger we thought it would be a special treat to take them all on a trip over Christmas vacation. We spent some time researching potential destinations and the winner of the family vote was Hawaii. Ouch. This can be a very expensive time of year to travel and the family picked one of the more expensive places to go. We live in the Twin Cities so flying to Hawaii is a long flight. Our first destination in Hawaii was Kona on the Big Island so we also had to make a connection in Honolulu on the way over.
We have three kids and at the time they were spread out from college age to sixth grade. Due to circumstances that we don’t need to go into here, we also had a college student living with us. She joined us for the trip.
The logistics of traveling with six people can get a little tricky. You either rent a van or you pretty much have to rent two cars. We chose to get two cars because because we were pretty sure we were not going to do the same things at the same time for two weeks. We would have spent more time fighting about what to do than vacationing with one vehicle.
As luck would have it, only half of our luggage made the connecting flight to Kona. We waited another 45 minutes for the last flight of the night from Honolulu so we could continue on to our final destination, a home we had rented for a week. No luck. The bags didn’t make that flight either. Tired and kind of discouraged we headed to the car rental agency. Things were going fine until they asked to see our drivers licenses. My wifes license expired on December 27th (during the trip) so they wouldn’t let her drive a car. Our kids were too young to drive the car per the car rental companies policy. Which left it up to the young college student who we brought along. She just met the minimum age so we were finally good to go.
Needless to say this was a very expensive vacation. Things have changed a lot since then. While it is still expensive to travel over most holidays, there are deals out there. Many websites specialize in discounts on travel. If you do a little research and take the time to shop you can usually find a great vacation at a reasonable price – even at Christmas.
Here are some deals we found for this Christmas holiday season:
From cheapAir.com here are some general travel tips this year for looking the best prices on airfare:
Cheapest departure days: Wednesday December 23rd, Thursday December 24th, Friday December 25th (Christmas Day)
Cheapest return days: Wednesday December 31st, Tuesday January 6
Cheapest overall itinerary: Thursday, December 17th to Friday, December 25th (Christmas Day)
Cheapest “practical” itinerary: Thursday, December 24th to Thursday, December 31st
Average savings flying on the cheapest departure days: $101
Average savings flying on the cheapest return days: $142