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Discount Holiday Travel Tips

Millions of miles will be traveled as families head out of town for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year’s. And all this travel could cost you a small fortune. But it doesn’t have to. Here are some tips to help you save some money.

Timing Matters – The time of your flight could save you big bucks according to TheFrugalista.com. Natalie McNeal, aka The Frugalista, says traveling early Wednesday morning or late Tuesday evening is the best way to get a great deal. If you’re going home for Thanksgiving, McNeal suggests flying in on Turkey Day morning. “The airport wasn’t crowded, people were cheerful and my flight was super cheap,” said McNeal in her blog.

Membership Has its Privileges – You may be aware of discounts through AAA or AARP, but there are a number of organizations that receive travel discounts and you may already be a member. Unions, college alumni groups and even your employer may take part in discount programs. And think outside of the typical 10% off a hotel or car rental. For instance, did you know AAA gives you one free car seat per rental through Hertz?

Bag the Baggage Fees – Many airlines are charging $25, $35, $45 or more for you to check your bags. So try to travel with just a carry on bag if you’re going for just a few days. It may be cheaper to buy the toiletries you need when you arrive at your destination. Also consider shipping items to your destination ahead of time. Sending a box full of clothes for a family of four could cost less than the fee for an oversized or extra bag. However, if you’re staying at a hotel, they may charge you a holding fee to keep your box until you arrive. LearnVest offers more tips on how to lighten your load and not your wallet

Play Hotel Roulette – Sites like Priceline and Hotwire will give you a price, star rating and general area of a hotel, but they won’t tell you which one it actually is. The closer you get to your arrival date, the better chance you have of bidding a lower price. But here’s a piece of advice: reserve a refundable room in advance if you can to make sure you have a room, then use one of these bidding sites a few days before you arrive. I tried this recently and was able to get a room at a better hotel and saved $50 a night.

Do you have any money saving travel tips? Share them in the comment section below.

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