Last-Minute Holiday Travel

12-11-14 SQ Blog G+There may be no better way to eliminate holiday stress than by taking a vacation. If you feel like getting away from it all but never got a chance to book anything until right this minute, don’t worry – last minute holiday travel doesn’t have to be prohibitively expensive. Here are five secrets for getting out of Dodge between now and New Year’s without putting your finances in a dodgy situation. 

  1. Check airfares early in the morning. The time of day that you actually sit down to book your flight can make a huge impact on the cost of your fare. Since most airlines update their inventory and prices overnight, checking airfares first thing in the morning can really pay off.

  1. Buy two one-way tickets. If all roundtrip flights to your destination cost an arm and a leg, consider purchasing two one-way tickets on multiple airlines. The total price may be substantially less than a roundtrip fare. If you use a travel site like Orbitz, enter two separate searches to and from your destination using the one-way option.
  1. Fly on off-peak travel days. Incorporating just one off-peak travel day into your airfare can significantly decrease the cost of flying – sometimes by as much as 50 percent. If you need to travel on a peak day to reach your destination, consider booking your return for New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day (or another date when most travelers would prefer not to fly).
  1. Comp-air-ison shop. Don’t make the mistake of booking the first flight you stumble upon. You may be able to find a much cheaper fare elsewhere. Sites like SkyScanner offer deals on mainstream airlines as well as lesser-known carriers – many of which offer significantly reduced fares. To research and compare reward flight options, check out Expedia Rewards.
  1. Skip the airport. If a plane ticket is beyond your financial reach, consider a vacation spot that’s within driving range. Depending on where you live, a relaxing change of scenery may be as little as a two- or four-hour drive away. Don’t feel like driving? Look into train and/or bus fares to the destination of your choice.

Don’t let a lack of planning give you a holly jolly meltdown. With a little insider information and flexibility, you can still book an affordable getaway between now and the New Year.

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