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Top 8 Budget Travel Tips for the Holidays

Top 8 Budget Travel Tips for the Holidays

Planning and traveling during the holiday season can become overwhelming and can sometimes pack a heavy punch on your wallet. But it doesn’t have to! We’ve put together some pro-budget travel tips for you to nail down while planning your holiday trip.

1 | Travel Planning Apps – The Top 3

In a day and age where technology is at its prime, what better way to use technology to your advantage and save a buck! Three great apps to use while planning your holiday travel are Hopper, Gasbuddy, and Trail Wallet. 

  • Hopper is a great app for finding flights and keeping an eye on the costs before buying. The app will notify you when rates go up or down and give you insights on the best possible time to purchase.
  • Gasbuddy is great for those driving to their holiday destination. The app can show you what gas stations are close-by using your location and show you where to purchase the cheapest app. You can also earn GasBack from qualified purchases.
  • Trail Wallet is the go-to travel budgeting app. Trail Wallet allows you to set up multiple trip budgets and enter in actual spends while you’re traveling, so you can see your remaining spend all while on the go!

2 | Flight Planning – Where Are The Sweet Spots?

When planning your flight there are a few things to remember that will help you lower the cost of your plane ticket.

  1. Book directly at the airport –oftentimes when you book at the airport, you won’t incur the online booking fees you would by booking online. It can save up to $40 dollars per ticket!
  2. Book your flights on a Tuesday or Wednesday –these two days of the week are the cheapest days to travel. Note* Thanksgiving is the busiest travel week of the year, you’ll often see a rise in ticket costs during this week.
  3. Indirect flights –you can typically save anywhere from $50-100 when you take a flight that has a connection. While this may not be as convenient and increases your travel time, it will help your wallet!

3 | Inexpensive Lodging – Where To Stay

Not to toot our own horn too loud, but InTown Suites is a great and inexpensive option when it comes to affordable hotels or lodging while traveling this holiday season. We have properties all over the country that offer weekly low rates that are typically lower than standard hotels in the area, even if you only plan on staying a few nights! You can also count on InTown Suites when it comes to convenient and money-saving amenities like more space for you and your travel buddy, premium TV channels, and an in-room kitchen with a full-sized refrigerator, two-burner stove, and microwave. Find a location now!

4 | The Art of Packing – Avoiding Baggage Fees

Most airlines will allow you a carry-on that fits under the seat for free. Think savvy and try packing only must-take items into a large bookbag or travel bag that will fit under your seat. Pack a few mix-and-match clothing options that can be washed while you’re traveling (bonus: InTown Suites offers on-site laundry facilities at its properties for your convenience). When you arrive at your destination you can purchase toiletry items needed –more on that later!

5 | Meals, Snacking & Shopping – Prepare In Advance!

Meals and snacks on the go can eat a giant hole in or completely through off your travel budget! Grabbing a power bar and water at the airport or gas station can end up costing you $5-6 when in reality you could have spent $2. What to do? Plan in advance. 

  • Airport Travel: if you’re heading to the airport go to the grocery store beforehand and purchase an empty water bottle and snacks (unopened until you get through security). Airports usually have water fountains or water bottle refill stations where you can get FREE water. Purchasing the snacks ahead of time will save you from having to buy those overpriced noshes at the mini-mart.
  • Car Travel: road trips can get costly too when it comes to meals and snacks. Head to the grocery store before you hit the road and pack a cooler filled with quick meal and snack options.
  • Arrive At Your Destination: once you’ve arrived, instead of going to CVS, mini-mart, or gas station, find a big box store like Walmart and grab the toiletry items you need for the length of your stay. You should also stop by the grocery store and grab snacks and meal items to stock up on in your room, instead of paying for overpriced in-room snacks in the middle of the night. (Another bonus: utilize the InTown Suites in-room kitchen and enjoy a few “home-made” meals in your room.)

6 | If It’s Large – Ship It!

Again, avoid extra baggage fees and costs. If you’re planning to travel by air and have Christmas or Hannukah gifts to transport too, you’re better off planning to ship those via regular snail mail or UPS. The key here is to plan in advance! Get your packages to the post at least a week before you arrive and have a designated friend or family member to ship to! You will end up saving yourself over $200!

8 | Transportation Services Are Your Friend

When it comes to transportation (for those not traveling by car) consider using transportation apps like Uber or Lift or public transportation when needing to get around town. This will save you a bundle versus renting a car and paying a daily rate, insurance, and gas fees. When you can, walk! There’s nothing like getting to take in the beauty of a city and getting some fresh air while you’re at it!