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couple snowboarding while traveling during the holidays

Getting family together for the holidays is no longer as easy as just going “over the river and through the woods” to grandma’s house. These days, if you want the whole family to celebrate in one location, it’s going to require more extensive holiday travel. If it’s your turn to make the trip this year, here are some ways to save money on holiday travel – and possibly save your sanity, too.

Bundle Up

Book all holiday travel online to take advantage of the bundled rates on airfare, hotel and car rental that many discount travel sites offer. Not only will you save money over purchasing them individually, you’ll also save valuable time by getting it all done with just a few clicks, rather than wasting time shopping around for the best deal.

Be Flexible with Dates

Adjust your trip so you’re not flying on the busiest holiday travel days: immediately before and after Thanksgiving, and New Year’s Eve. Surprisingly, Christmas Eve is much less busy; and if you can bring yourself to travel on Thanksgiving or Christmas Day, you’ll breeze through the airport with no lines and enjoy the peace and quiet of a nearly empty flight. While it may not be your first choice to arrive on the holiday itself, it can yield big holiday travel savings. Plus, you’ll get to make a grand entrance after everyone else has already arrived.

Keep it Light

Pack light to avoid wasting money on overweight baggage fees. If you have a lot of gifts to take, consider shipping them in advance. If you’re shopping online, have gifts sent directly to the recipients. Gift Cards are also a good option since they take up virtually no space in your luggage. Also, remember to leave gifts unwrapped as the TSA has been known to unwrap them for inspection.

Hitch a Ride

There are a few ways you can save on airport parking fees. Asking a friend for a ride is, of course, the cheapest and most fun way to do it. But even a taxi fare or airport shuttle will likely be the less than the cost of parking. Plus, you won’t have to worry about leaving your vehicle vulnerable and exposed to the elements in a long-term parking lot while you’re enjoying your holiday travel.

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