Book Now. Save Later- “Travel Hints”

8 09 2010

This is a fairly simple travel hint.  The idea of booking your fall and winter travel seems like a wise idea until you review your funds.  End of summer, start of football season, good weather outside=more drinking than usual, and for some of you school starting up means you don’t have excess funds at the moment, unless your parents buy your plane tickets home in which case you do.  Bottom line of this hint- travel gets very expensive during the holidays.  A flight that would normally cost you $200 dollars round-trip will more than likely DOUBLE.  Planning on cashing in those frequent flyer miles? Forget about it.  The majority of airlines already have dates blacked out during the holidays.  I suppose you could spend $20,000 on a chase credit card to earn enough points to  “avoid those black out dates.”  If you plan on flying home for the holidays or staying at a hotel while you are away from your over-priced condo/apartment I suggest you book by the end of this month or in October.  Once the end of October hits moving into November the malls have setup shop with Santa which means Americans are “ready to spend money”.  

Here are some ways to avoid the travel blues during the holidays:

1) Take advantage of offers through travel vendor websites.  For example an airline might offer- “Book now and fly roung trip for $100 or less during the month of November” Take them up on the offer.  They are trying to drive sales hard now so they can increase the rates based on supply and demand.

2) Explore your transportation options.  Could you rent a car or take the train? I would not suggest renting a car if you are traveling more than 200-250 miles each way.  However rental car companies offer lower rates during the holidays if you book far in advance (3-4 weeks prior). 

3) Stay with the family.  Hotels are a waist of money unless you are: a) on business b) legitimate vacation c) college road trip in which case you will be staying at a Best Western or Comfort Inn…which is dirt cheap anyways.

4) Be weary of the days RIGHT BEFORE or RIGHT AFTER the actual holiday.  In most cases people will not travel on Christmas eve…it reminds people of a nightmare situation similar to that in Planes, Trains, and Automobiles (excellent movie however).  What that means is Thursday December 23rd, 2010 will be a very tough day for travel.

5) Plan flights that are not during “High-Times” such as 9-11am and 4-8pm.  If you can plan a flight at 1:00pm in the afternoon or 9:30pm at night you will be golden when it comes to long lines at the parking shuttle, security gates, etc.  

6) MOST IMPORTANTLY- Even though I mentioned this before, make a reservation for everything.  By the time the holidays roll around you should have a reservation/confirmation # for every single aspect of your travel.  No exceptions.  The travel company’s favorite customer is someone who does not have a reservation during the holidays…say goodbye to those savings.  

I’m sure I’ll see you at the bar when a group of flight attendants don’t show up for that flight you paid an arm and leg for.

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