Christmas time means it’s travel time.
And, usually, travel time means it’s overspending time. Whether it’s at the airport or the gas station, you’ll have many opportunities to make impulse purchases over the next few weeks.
But unplanned purchases add up quickly and have a way of ruining your budget. So if you’re traveling this Christmas, I’ve got some tips to help you spend less, stay on budget, and just have an all-around better traveling experience.
1. Ship your gifts ahead of time.
This is especially important if you’re flying. You’ll save money by shipping your presents ahead of time instead of checking them in at the airport. Some airlines charge as much as $75 for heavier checked bags. Compare the check-in fees with shipping costs and go with the cheaper option.
2. Check out the library.
Instead of loading up on DVDs or coloring books, check out books and DVDs from your local library. Some libraries even have apps where you can download audio books! How cool is that? So instead of buying a bunch of stuff you might only watch for a week or so, take advantage of your local library!
3. Don’t forget the trip home!
If you were nice this year, then Santa’s going to bring gifts! So remember that you’ll probably be coming home with more stuff than you left with. Plan for that, and don’t get stuck having to spend more on checking those extra gifts at the airport.
4. Park on the cheap.
Can you get a ride from a friend? If not, how much will parking off site and getting shuttled in cost versus parking at the airport? It might make more sense to get a round-trip Uber ride. Do a little research and decide what makes the best sense for your budget.
5. Travel at the right time.
If you’re flying, travel on off days. If you’re driving, leave early in the morning when fewer people are on the road. You might save a little money, a little time, and a little unwanted holiday stress.
Put these traveling tips in place before you head out on the road, and make this Christmas even merrier!