Reduce the Cost of Holiday Travel with These Money-Saving Tips
Visiting friends and family over the holidays may be emotionally priceless, but it can come with a hefty price tag, especially if you’ll be logging a ton of miles on the road, in the air, or even on a train track. But there are ways to save on holiday travel—you just need to plan ahead.
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If you’re a holiday road trip warrior, U.S. News & World Report Contributor Jon Lal recommends taking your car in for service—oil change, tire rotation, a complete tune-up—a few weeks before your planned journey. Even though you’ll have to pay the service charges, they should add up to a lot less than the amount you’d have to pay if your car breaks down on your trip, according to Lal.
Since fuel will be a significant expense on the road, Lal recommends searching for the cheapest gas before you stop with a mobile app such as GasBuddy, and when you pay, use a credit card that offers perks.
“Many gas stations offer credit cards with cash back incentives; if you commute regularly in addition to holiday road trips, this option could greatly benefit you. Otherwise, use your regular credit card with rewards for gas purchases,” writes Lal.
If you’re only using your set of wheels to get to the airport for your holiday escape, you might want to rethink driving at all.
“Taking a taxi to the airport or leaving your car parked there for a few days are both expensive ventures. Instead, ask a friend to drop you off and pick you up at the airport. You can always return the favor to them the next time they take their family to the beach or go on a business trip. It’s an easy way to save a few hundred dollars,” reports LifeHack.org Writer Catherine Alford.
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No matter your means of transportation this holiday season—car, plane, train, floo powder, or some combination—be sure to give yourself extra time to get where you need to be, which can be a much-needed stress-saver.