This blog is the first of a three-part “Reduced Spending” series. Be sure to check back for two more upcoming blogs.
Ladies and gentlemen, it’s that time of year – time for holiday celebrations! With the weather changing and family gathering, the next two months are going to be jam-packed with the hustle and bustle of the season. When you have gifts to buy and food to cook, it’s easy for your wallet to start feeling the pinch of the holidays.
Luckily, there are different tactics to reduce your spending and keep some pocket change during the holiday season – one area is travel! Here are a few ways that you can travel without breaking the bank.
1. Create a travel budget
You’ve got to start somewhere, right? Create a budget to plan how much you will spend on your trip – including travel expenses, eating out, and transportation. Write down the max amount of money you feel comfortable spending and try your best to stick to it. Check out this link to access a downloadable spreadsheet to get started. Your kiddos will thank you later when you have extra cash for holiday presents 😊
2. Tracking flights
Getting a plane ticket for each family member can be a pricey travel expense, so if your destination is within driving distance, we highly advise you drive – create an awesome road trip playlist to make the trip more fun!
But if you have to buy plane tickets, there are websites that track cheap flights and notify you when’s the best time to book tickets – we could all use that for sure. Check out these sites! Interested in an airline ticket hack? Cheaper ticket options are sometimes available for atypical travel days and times, so it’s good to be flexible. Here’s a link that explains ways to get the best airfares.
3. Pack miscellaneous items
Don’t forget to pack some items you might need in case of a weather or health emergency. Bring a raincoat and an umbrella just in case the weather forecast moves from sunny to cloudy! Always be prepared to treat any symptom, such as motion sickness, a migraine, or a stomach ache. Check your closest and cabinets so you can pack these items rather than buying duplicates when you get to where you’re going.
4. Packing hacks
The worst feeling is leaving your house thinking your bag might be overweight. Here are ways to pack smarter and faster:
– Wear your heaviest clothing: Winter jackets weighing your bag down? No problem – since the airplane is usually cold anyway, wear some of your thicker sweaters or coats to lighten your load.
– Invest in new luggage: Older luggage tends to weigh more, which is totally inconvenient. Invest in a new bag that is lightweight so you can pack more without going over the weight limit.
– Less is more: Almost everyone tends to overpack. Stick to a few shirts and pants that you can mix and match throughout your trip. You’ll be surprised at how much more room you have.
Interested in more? Check out this link!
If you’re visiting an area with an efficient public transportation system, use it to your advantage! Most major cities have trains and public buses that will go wherever you need. The cheaper option? Have a family or friend drive you around. To thank them, throw some gas money their way.
6. Stay with family and friends
Free lodging is always nice! Call dibs on a family or friend’s spare room (or sofa) while you’re in town. Another option to consider is gathering your group to split hotel rooms. This could be cost-efficient and fun!
7. Stock up on snacks
Eating out can cost a good chunk of change when you’re traveling. Ward off the munchies by creating a stash of granola bars, trail mix packets or anything yummy to keep your stomach full and your body energized when you’re on the go. Have kiddos that have consistently growling stomachs? Bring some fruit snack packets and juices boxes with you!
8. Take out some cash
For the betterment of your bank account, check your travel budget and take out a set amount of cash that you’ll allow yourself to spend throughout your time away during the holidays. This will stop you from swiping your card left and right!