Money-saving hacks for traveling in December
Whether you travel during the holiday season to visit your loved ones or to take a break from the cold weather and incessant Christmas carols, December is undeniably one of the busiest months for travelers around the globe. However, the “most wonderful time of the year” can easily become stressful and less-than-jolly if your budget is stretched too thin.
In order to help you avoid those common December blues, we rounded up some of the best thrifty, money-saving hacks to make sure you can end the year in “comfort and joy.”
Whether you’re on your way to a tropical beach or returning to your snow-covered hometown, the easiest way to save money is by not checking your luggage. Avid traveler Evie Clarrick writes that, “I lived out of a backpack and carry on suitcase for a year in climates as varied as winter in Japan and spring in Cambodia—so trust me, it’s doable.” In order to breeze through airports with nothing but carry-on items like Clarrick, try out these packing tips:
- Have all of your holiday gifts for others shipped directly to the destination to save money, time, and hassle.
- Pack just enough clothing to last a week. If your trip is longer than that, simply plan on doing laundry at some point during your travels.
- Stick to basic clothing items and try to create a wardrobe you can easily mix and match.
- Roll your clothing instead of folding it to avoid wrinkles and save precious space in your suitcase.
Check out PackPoint, a nifty app that will create a packing list for you depending on where you’re going, what activities you’re planning, and how long you’ll be gone. It’s free and available for both iOS and Android devices.
Try an “Off Season” getaway destination
If you’re just looking for a fun vacation, choosing the right destination can save you hundreds. Plus, going somewhere during the “off season” means there will be cheaper accommodation, fewer tourists, and no frustrating lines for the most popular attractions. Places like Milan, Reykjavik, Stockholm, and Dresden are just a few excellent candidates for a romantic winter getaway or a relaxing solo adventure. Just be sure to pack warm clothing!
If you don’t feel comfortable crashing at your family’s house during the holidays, think about checking out Airbnb for cheaper rates than nearby hotels or lodges. Instead of staying at an overpriced hotel, you can have all the familiar amenities of home at a discounted rate. In addition, you can also earn money by renting out your place back home on Airbnb; it’s a win-win all around!
Consider flying on a holiday
If your holiday plans are flexible, you can save money by traveling while everyone else is already at their destination. Choosing to travel on Christmas Day itself, for example, will mean that you can enjoy cheaper airline tickets, smaller crowds, and fewer delays at the airport. In addition, you can avoid the immediate post-holiday rush when travelers are anxious to get back home. “Getting a few days off before the holidays is a luxury, but it often leads to crowded airports and high flight costs,” says chief editor of TrivalPirates, Dom Scarlett. “Consider taking a few extra days off after the holidays [instead].”
Sign up for travel credit cards
Frequent travelers can save money by simply signing up for a few travel credit cards, which often waive annual fees for the first year, offer thousands of miles for new cardholders, and may even have additional perks like priority boarding, access to airport lounges, and upgraded flights. A few of the most highly-recommended cards include:
- Chase Sapphire Preferred card. Users can earn 2 points for every dollar they spend on dining and travel, even internationally. “Dining” includes everything from restaurants to coffee shops to bars while “travel” can extend to subways, taxis, airfare, and even Uber or Lyft rides.
- American Express Platinum Card. Cardholders can enjoy 5X rewards when they book flights directly with an airline, through American Express Travel, or book a hotel on amextravel.com. Other perks include hotel upgrades, travel services, hotel credit, and more.
Ditch your cell phone plan
If your December travel plans are taking you overseas, sticking to a tight budget can be difficult if you’re forced to pay expensive roaming charges and extra fees for international communication. That’s why BNESIM created a simple, affordable solution that will allow you to enjoy international calling, texting, and high-speed internet in over 170 countries around the globe. BNESIM’s international data SIM card gives you the best roaming plan on the market since you can fully customize it to meet your personal communication needs and budget.
This holiday season, don’t overpay for your mobile plan. Instead, travel with BNESIM to enjoy reliable service no matter where you roam.