During the Holiday season the number of long-distance traveling done by Americans increases by a great deal. This can make for a hectic time in the air, on the road, or around hotels. Sometimes plans deviate. Dates move, destinations change, and routes are altered. Trying to make last-minute arrangements during one of the busiest travel periods of the year may cause a bit of a headache.
Not to worry. There are several resources available to you to make the best out of any fast-paced, travel nightmare. Whether you are flying, driving, or looking for a place to hang your hat, here are a few things to keep in mind as you commute to your friends and family.
In the Air
When you’re flying, try your best to remain fluid; though you may need to be somewhere on a particular date, getting there earlier than necessary may help you save substantially on airfare. If you can, be willing to take a seat during the unpopular flight times. You’ll save some cash if you’re willing to get up earlier, or stay up later than the rest of the crowd.
Airlines want to fill their seats as much as possible. Looking for deals on flights a day or so away can be fruitful as airlines try frantically to fill seats, but generally speaking, the best results come from booking your journey a week or so in advance.
On the Road
While plenty of websites that offer flight and hotel booking also offer car rental, your best bet is to check out the actual company websites for any last-minute specials they may be offering. Reservations are key with car rentals, as renting at the airport after landing will likely cost more than reserving your vehicle beforehand. Here’s a car rental tip from AARP: If your destination is a small city or a non-hub airport, reserve a compact car. There’s a good chance there won’t be any available when you arrive (companies know most people don’t like to drive them), and you’ll get a free upgrade.
Like airlines and their seats, hotels want to fill their rooms. Start by finding the hotel that has the amenities you’re looking for. If a continental breakfast, pool, and/or full menu room service are deal-breakers for you, you can narrow the list of places you’re willing to stay. Next, compare prices of the hotels you want to visit online. There are plenty of websites that can help you get a baseline for expected cost, or even find the best deal. For more on travel be sure to visit AARP Travel as well.
The holiday season can be a flurry of celebrations, family gatherings, and other social gatherings. So many of these events require travel from one place or another. Wherever you head to enjoy the company of family and friends, be safe and have a wonderful time!