With the holidays looming in the near future, there always seems to be a large jump in price for airline tickets. Questions such as when is the best time to buy a ticket to deciding whether to drive or fly can be stressful, not only to the psyche but the wallet as well.
What is the Best Way to Budget for the Upcoming Holidays?
There are several ways to budget for the upcoming holidays and the travel expenses that come with them.
First, depending on the distance traveled, airline tickets can be very pricey. Sometimes it is cheaper to drive a few hours to the nearest large airport in order to save a few hundred dollars.
Next, the sooner a person starts saving for an upcoming trip, the better. If a traveler is able to trim the budget and save an extra $100 per month, they can not only save more money, but they can save money with the ability to buy items such as airline tickets sooner.
Finally, there are many seasonal jobs that open up around the holidays. Taking on a part-time second job for a couple of months can definitely be a budget booster. This may limit the amount of time or change the dates due to work duties, but if the trip is short, this is a popular option for many budgeters.
Buy Early, But Not Too Early
According to recent reports, the best month to buy a Christmas airline ticket is September. In fact, it is actually more expensive to buy a ticket too early, say in August when prices average $450. The longer a person waits to purchase that ticket, the more expensive it becomes. Waiting until December can send the average price soaring to over $529.
Be Flexible with Travel Dates
If a person has a flexible enough schedule, booking a flight a few days before Thanksgiving can save money as compared to leaving the day before the holiday. In addition, if possible, flying the morning of Thanksgiving can be cost effective for people who need to book last minute.
For a return flight, leaving a few days after Sunday can save a Thanksgiving traveler over $200 per ticket. Sunday is historically the busiest and most expensive day to fly.
Research All Avenues of Travel
If time is not an option, traveling by another means of transportation other than flying can be extremely cost-effective. Trains and buses are often more economical ways to travel as compared to flying. For car owners, the cost may actually be more expensive to drive if gasoline, meals, and hotel costs come into play. Do the math and decide which form of travel is best for you and your family.