With the second most travel season being the holidays it’s time to pack your bags again for the second part of Young Finance 101’s travel tips.
Happy holidays!!! Yes, it is officially here. That means the airports are packed and the travelers are probably either in a holly-jolly mood or extremely frustrated with the delays and stress the holidays brings trying to get from point A to point B. It is estimated that 54 Million people are expected to travel this week. 48 Million of those traveling will be hitting the roads. So, it’s time to start your engines because Young Finance 101 wants to help you be more prepared for your trip before you jet.
With the holiday season here, the price for air travel increases. Thanksgiving is only days away, but you can still plan for the upcoming holiday travel for: Christmas, New Year’s and Valentine’s Day. Whatever the holiday, create a savings account that is only for traveling expenses. This includes buying airline tickets, lodging, food and shopping. Checkout Charles Schwab Bank. It has no fees when you travel internationally, plus most of their accounts have a no charge fee.
While we are on the topic of banks, always withdrawal money; never exchange it. Charles Schwab does not charge any fees if you withdraw money from an ATM. The ATM company will charge you money for withdrawing from its machines as a convenience fee, but Charles Schwab gives the money right back. Kind of nice, right!
We all sacrifice our paychecks to buy groceries, gas, pay for utilities, housing and the list goes on. Instead of spending cash, opt to pay your bills with a credit card. Now, I am talking about a credit card that gives you cashback or points. If you have a credit card where you can rack up points for airlines miles or make a percentage of money back when you shop, you’re winning! Points and cashback add up. You can score a free flight, get perks to use airport lounges, or use the cashback towards getting tickets at no cost to fly to your destination. Also, look at deals when you use your credit card to book your lodging accommodations. Some credit card companies offer deals if you use their card for your hotel stays.
Look into purchasing a Priority Pass at the airport if you are a frequent traveler. It can get you into over 850 airport lounges around the nation. The annual price starts at $99. Might be worth checking out to have some comfort especially if you have a layover or a delayed flight.
It is going to be a mess with wall-to-wall travelers everywhere trying to get to their destination, shopping for those Black Friday deals and ringing in the holidays. Make sure that you are keeping your possessions close while out-and-about by having a closed (zipper-like) purse or bag that is small and can be placed over the shoulder. This way, while your in a crowd you won’t have to worry about someone running off with your belonging. As for guys, it’s probably best to not put your wallet in the back of your pants. Instead, place your wallet inside the top of your jacket pocket in the front. This way it stays close to your heart.
Can’t wait until you sink your teeth into Thanksgiving dinner? Well, you might have to if you are traveling a long distance. To help with cravings, pack snacks in your carry-on. If you are hitting the road, pack sandwiches, drinks and snacks so that you have fewer stops and so you stay on track with your schedule.
Now, If you are looking to book for other holidays coming up, then save some money by having a layover. Only do this if you have time and don’t need to get to your destination right away. Also, compare flight plans on different days of the week to see if traveling is cheaper. Keep in mind that some of the best days to travel are on Tuesdays and a Wednesdays. By the way, no one said that you had to travel by air. Look into savings hundreds of dollars traveling by bus or train.
When you arrive at your destination opt out of paying to rent a vehicle. Don’t even think about Ubering everywhere. Instead, take in the city. Disclaimer… this only applies if you have never been to the city and are staying in an area where most of the attractions are near your hotel or AirBnB. Stroll around and look at the architecture and meet the locals.
Speaking of the locals, eat like one. Don’t stay in and eat leftovers, hotel room service or dine at expensive cafes. Experience new cuisines. Before you start making plans to order your food, check to see if the restaurant has an app or if there are any that can be used at places that you are eating that have deals to save money on your meal. If eating out is not your thing and you are staying at accommodations that have a kitchen then cook your meals. You will save a ton of money by making your own food. Use the money that you would’ve spent on food for activities, sightseeing and adventures. Also, check out free days at area attractions and museums. Most major cities have days or hours of the day where guest can tour their facility for free.
Another great way to save some dough is to stay with relatives or friends while you are traveling away from home. Just don’t be a couch potato. Be a grateful guest and show your host how much you care by doing the dishes, helping out around the house or even make your host a meal to show your appreciation.
Lastly, it’s the holidays and whether you are having fun with family and friends, exploring a new city this holiday season or just planning your next vacation remember to not try and cram everything into one visit. It’s impossible to go everywhere on your list and actually have enough time to enjoy it. Take a moment and enjoy the experience. Snap some photos and create videos so that you have those memories to look back on.
We hope that these suggestions help with planning your holiday travel or next vacation. Do you have any suggestions or helpful tips for our readers? Please leave a comment below. As always, remember at Young Finance 101 class is always in session.