umb skin1 Web Content Viewer

umb skin2 Actions

Give the ultimate holiday gift and plan the perfect getaway

Date posted:  10/31/16 09:00:00 AM Airplane taking off

The holidays are a special time of year where giving often feels better than receiving. So, why not give one of the best gifts imaginable that also lets you reap some of the benefits? By beginning your holiday vacation plans now, you can ensure you get the most bang for your buck.

Follow these tips when you start organizing your winter getaway:

Make your move now
According to U.S. News & World Report, by booking your travel early, at least three weeks in advance, you can save money on your holiday travels. The lowest fares are typically seen during the fall, particularly in early November. In addition, Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the most affordable days to book for travel.

Ship instead of pack
Need to get some holiday gifts to your final destination? If shipping them to your final destination is an option, do this instead of packing them with your luggage. Not only do airline carriers often charge for baggage, you may risk having your perfectly wrapped present inspected, unwrapped or damaged while going through security. If you shop online, it may be easier to ship your purchases to your final destination, as long as it has a safe place for storage and you'll have time to wrap when you arrive.

Know where to go
Some destinations are more affordable during the winter holiday than others, and U.S. News & World Report identified some great affordable locations.

Southeast Asia is one of many budget-friendly destinations. In fact, staying in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam can cost less than $5. Some additional locations to consider include:

  • Santo Domingo
  • Belize
  • San Diego
  • Puerto Rico

Fly on a cheaper day
If you fly on the actual day of a holiday, you can save quite a bit of money. Typically the days before and after are the most expensive, so if you have holiday celebration flexibility, try to book a ticket on Thanksgiving day instead of the Wednesday before or the weekend after.

The day of the week that you travel can also impact the price of your airline ticket. Weekends are typically pricier, while a Tuesday or Wednesday is far more affordable.

Continue to look for deals
The earlier you are on the lookout for deals, the more likely to find something that will work for you. So, start your search now, and jump on an opportunity to save on your holiday vacation.

Worried about booking travel only to learn that there is a better deal later on? Travel websites, like Orbitz and Priceline, often have low-price guarantees that will actually refund money if you find a better deal after purchasing a ticket or getting a hotel room within a certain time frame.

Download travel apps
Track your flight, check-in and ensure you are quickly made aware of any delays by downloading an app for traveling. Whether you download your airline company's app or a general travel one such as GateGuru, you'll be grateful you have one when you're trying to catch a flight.

Pack with a purpose
When you're traveling, anything can happen, and you should always prepare for the unexpected. Bring along extra chargers for your electronic devices as well as plenty of non-electronic entertainment. Books, puzzles and magazines are great for long layovers or delays.

In addition, you will want to pack a pillow and extra set of clothes in case you need to spend the night in the airport or if your luggage is misplaced. Bring these items so you don't need to buy them if you're flight is canceled or you find you need to rest or change out of your clothes.

When packing, you'll also want to strategize what you decide to wear while traveling. If you have bulkier items, wearing them instead of forcing them into your suitcase is a good idea to save space.

By planning ahead, your holiday travel can be more affordable and less stressful. Spend some time researching when to buy and preparing for travel and you can enjoy an affordable getaway.