9 Ways to Save on Holiday Travel: Tips and Tricks

holiday travel tips and tricks


Many people travel during the holidays, whether it is just across the state or across the country. Traveling can be quite expensive, especially around the holidays, when the industry raises rates. With gas prices soaring these days, you are probably looking to save everywhere you can so you can get home to you loved ones. Every year as we look to travel back to Florida to visit family, I’m always trying to scout out the best holiday travel deals and find tips for other ways to save money on holiday travel.

Make sure to pin these tips so you can refer back to them every holiday season!

All is not lost, weary traveler. Here are several ways to use holiday travel deals and other tips to save money on your holiday trips.

Holiday Travel Deals and Tips for Saving on Holiday Travel

1. Buddy up. If you have relatives who live near you or on your way to your final destination, pick them up. If there are a lot of them, consider renting a van and having everyone chip in on the cost. It will be a lot cheaper than everyone taking separate cars, depending on your distance.

2. Book hotel rooms now. If you won’t be staying with friends or relatives, make sure you book your rooms now before they fill up. As they start to fill, you may run out of options and be stuck with a higher priced room. For savings on your hotel room, look for holiday travel deals and coupons on websites like hotelcoupons.com (link to http://hotelcoupons.com/ )

3. Shop early for the best holiday travel deals on flights. The earlier you shop, the better, but surely you need to book by October for Thanksgiving travel and mid-November for Christmas and New Year’s Travel.

4. Travel when other people don’t like to. For example, don’t book your flight from Wednesday through Sunday over the Thanksgiving week. This is the busiest time and airlines like to add extra to flights during this time to take advantage of it. Instead, decide with your family that you will do Thanksgiving on a different day than the actual holiday or postpone it.

5. Ship your luggage rather than fly with it. Carry-on prices are no longer what they were. If you ship your luggage and even you gifts to your destination, you can avoid the fees and pay way less. The Postal service now offers flat rate shipping that is one price per box size, up to 70 pounds and it is way less than some of the airline’s $45 carry-on bag fees.

6. If you end up procrastinating on getting your flights and travel booked, make sure to check out the last-minute holiday travel deals offered though travel sites like Expedia. Just be aware that most of the time these are the undesirable rooms, flight times and days so you might not get what you want exactly and will have to remain flexible.

7. If you are going to fly, have someone drop you off or take a cab. Airports like to hike the price of their parking lots during the holidays and leaving your car there can cost you a pretty penny.

8. Buy gifts when you reach your destination or if you are going to travel with them, don’t wrap them. Wrapping them is wasted time and money since airport security will most likely unwrap them.

9. Fly out on Christmas or Thanksgiving and stay for a while after the holiday rather than before. You can save a lot on flights on the actual holiday because no one wants to fly on these days so airlines discount on the holiday itself.

10 Ways to Earn Cash for Christmas

10 Ways to Make Cash for Christmas

Need to earn extra cash for Christmas this year?

Thanksgiving is on the horizon, but you may be already filling your head with anxiety about the impending Christmas season and all the gifts you will need to buy, parties to attend and extra expenses that are outside your normal budget. The good news is there is still plenty of time to make a little cash for Christmas before the big day!

Let’s look at 10 ways you can make some extra cash for Christmas, Hanukkah, or any other upcoming holidays:

1. Participate in Amazon’s trade-in program! Click one of the following links to go to the right category for the product you’d like to trade in. You could earn up to 80% back on books, regardless of where you bought them, and Amazon will give you an estimate on other products, such as video games and electronics. Amazon will even pay for you to ship the products to them!

Amazon Book Trade In
Amazon Consumer Electronics Trade In
Amazon Video Games Trade In

2. Do surveys online. This may not seem like much, but just doing a few a day from sites that pay for your opinions can really add up.

3. Save all your change from now until Christmas shopping time. You would be amazed at how much you really can save up. Everything counts, even pennies. In 2 months, I was able to save almost $100 once. You have to be diligent and not touch it for any reason, though. At the end, cash it in at your bank and skip the Coinstar machine as it takes around 9 cents per dollar you cash in.

4. Selling your and your child’s outgrown clothing that’s still in good condition in lots on Craigslist or to consignment stores is a great way to bring in some extra cash for Christmas.

5. Sell a service. You may not have much time, but housecleaning is usually a great way to gain some extra income. In just a couple hours a week, you could make a couple hundred dollars in time for shopping. Many people would love to have you help get their home ready for the holidays or even post-holiday meal cleanup after Thanksgiving. If cleaning is not your forte, try offering services for house or pet sitting when people go on holiday vacations.

6. Take on a part time holiday job. Many places offer seasonal work this time of year with as few as 10 hours a week. If you can squeeze in the extra time, this could give you the funds to get what you need and want for Christmas and as an extra bonus, you might be able to get an employee discount at the place you work at. This could mean extra savings if you take on a retail job.

7. It might seem unconventional, but participate in a focus group or a clinical trial. Doing so could get you a couple hundred dollars in a few short weeks, which really adds up to lots of extra cash for Christmas! To find clinical trials and focus groups in your area, search online or look in the paper as many of these places put ads in there.

8. Donate Plasma. Donating plasma is a great option for most healthy adults because it pays decently well (think up to $300 a month!) and is perfectly safe. Make sure you get in on this soon and make a commitment as the people who earn the most with this do it a couple times a week. Each session will likely take you at least an hour, so plan on childcare and make sure you eat a good meal before.

9. Forego some expenses for a couple months. Do you have non-contract cable or cells? Skip them for a couple months and you could end up with all the money you would need. Instead, go for a service like Netflix or Hulu for entertainment for under $10 a month.

10. Offer a holiday service. Watch kids so moms can shop on black Friday. I don’t know how many times I have heard from friends, “I wish I could get in on these deals, but I don’t have anyone willing to watch my kids this early or that day.” You could do a big kid’s black Friday party that morning and have friends or neighbors drop their kids off for you to watch. Charge for the whole day or buy the hour. You may miss out on the good deals, but there is always Cyber Monday!

Looking to travel? Then make sure to check out my post on holiday travel deals to contribute to your cash for Christmas efforts!