With Thanksgiving, Hanukah, and Christmas coming up, you may be considering traveling to visit your children and grandchildren. For some, holiday travel seems like a daunting prospect, but it doesn’t have to be. Many of us worry about how hectic things may be this time of year, and how costly tickets are, too. With a little diligence and a bit of flexibility, there’s no reason it can’t be a fun and affordable vacation. Here are some tips.
1. Try to be flexible when it comes to dates and times.
Travel costs vary, and, yes, the holidays are a peak time. However, if you don’t have to be specific with your dates, the price may be lower than you think.
Weekends are often the most expensive days to fly. If you can leave a day or two early, or stay into the week, you’ll likely find a better deal. Traveling on actual holidays is also often less expensive if it’s not too much of an inconvenience for your family. (Opting for a redeye flight may also save you a significant amount of money if you don’t mind it.)
2. Look for senior discounts.
If you’re not an AARP member, you probably should be. This can save you money on rental cars, hotels, train or bus tickets, and even plane tickets with certain airlines. You may also be able to use your AARP discount at various retail outlets when shopping for gifts.
3. Compare fares.
If you’re flying, compare fares from several airlines. Flights with connecting stopovers may also be less expensive than those that are direct. Fare tracking websites and apps like Google Flights, Skyscanner, and Airfarewatchdog can also help you find the best deals.
4. Pack a snack.
Avoid exorbitant airport prices by packing a light snack and an empty, refillable water bottle.