Published: December 18, 2017

    Tips for No-Stress Holiday Travel

    If you’re flying or driving to see your family and friends over the holidays you’re not alone. According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics long-distance travel increases by 23% over the winter holiday season.

    If you waited until the last minute to book your flight, don’t fret – there are still plenty of opportunities to save money and make it home this holiday season. For the best tips on how to avoid the stress during your holiday travels keep reading.


    • If possible, book your flights at least a few months ahead of your travel date. This will save you potentially hundreds of dollars.
    • When searching the web for last-minute airfare, use Google Flight Search or a website like Hipmunk to compare hundreds of flights to find the most affordable option. If you’re willing to use multiple airlines you can save big.
    • Choose flights that are on less busy days, and during unconventional times. For example, flying on a weekday is typically less expensive than a weekend. Go for a Tuesday if possible. Consider how close the day is to a holiday: for example, December 21st is a more popular date for flying than December 22nd or 23rd, and therefore more expensive. You can also reduce your costs by taking an early flight at 6 a.m. compared to one that leaves at 10 a.m.
    • When searching for airfare online, use a private browsing window and clear your cache and cookies before searching. Depending on the websites you visit the prices can increase if you search for an extended period of time without taking these precautions.
    • Tickets purchased online over the weekend (on Saturdays and Sundays) are about 5% cheaper than those for similar flights purchased on a weekday.


    • Planning a holiday getaway? Travel where hotel costs are lower than usual, like in Europe. European families rarely travel during the holidays, meaning you can find great deals for Christmas stays. A three-night stay in Paris or Rome over the Christmas holiday can be priced well under $150 a night, and many hotels will provide upgrades and perks at no additional cost.
    • Examine all costs before booking a holiday vacation. Hotels are often cheaper during the holidays, which bargain-hunters find as a pleasant surprise. However, flights often reach peak prices around the same time. Do the math to ensure your holiday savings aren’t nullified by extra costs elsewhere.
    • If you want to visit somewhere in the United States opt for a busy city center like New York City or Chicago. These metropolises rely on business travelers to fill their hotels, so during the holidays a family can book a room in a high-end hotel for a fraction of the typical cost.


    • Pack light when flying or driving to visit family. Don’t stuff your luggage, otherwise you won’t be able to fit in your holiday gifts on the return trip. You don’t need to bring everything you own – if you forget a toiletry item or some clothing you can borrow from family or run to the store.
    • Expect the unexpected and plan ahead. Always bring a book or two in case your flight or trip is delayed due to weather. Also bring some cash in case you need to run out and buy anything at the last minute.
    • Buy practical gifts for family members. Don’t try to wrap and transport gifts that are large or fragile, especially if you’re flying. Consider ordering something online that can be shipped to your family member’s home so the gift is there when you arrive.

    You should also remember to stay hydrated while on the road. If you’re driving fill up some stainless steel bottles and keep them in the car for easy access. Safe travels, and happy holidays!