The holiday season is upon us, and you probably aren't too excited for all the traveling you're soon to embark on.
But the worst part isn't the endless driving, flying, checking in and out of hotels, and the exhaustion that comes with it. The worst part is the amount of money you have to spend to accomplish it.
Fortunately, there are ways around going broke from holiday travel. Check out this helpful guide to learn more!
1. Do Your Research
This might be your first time or your fiftieth time traveling to see your family and friends, but you can still learn something new by studying up on your options.
If all you do is a cursory Google search to find flights and hotel rooms, you'll end up traveling the way they want you to travel. The best alternative is to scour the Internet for deals and find out what others around you have done to get to their holiday destinations on time and on budget.
2. Book Ahead of Time
Sometimes it simply can't be helped -- you procrastinated on buying the tickets or reserving a room, and now you've no choice but to fork over an arm and a leg to see your family for the holiday.
If you need a flight or a hotel room in the nights leading up to a major holiday, you had better have it reserved a month or more in advance. Otherwise, you'll end up paying some seriously exorbitant rates.
3. Stay With Family or Friends
If you're fortunate enough to find your family or friends have a spare bedroom (or even extra couch space), stake your claim ASAP.
Sure, it may not be the most ideal of sleeping arrangements. But crashing at someone else's house is always easier on the wallet than spending holiday fees for hotel rooms.
4. Avoid the Unnecessary
Traveling is stressful as is so if you can avoid it, go as simple as possible. You don't need every piece of clothing and bathroom accessory you have, and you don't always have to transport your pets with you.
Instead, go as lightly as possible. You'll probably save money on gas from the lack of added weight!
And as for air travel, everyone likes the idea of flying first class, picking their seats, and priority boarding. But if you need to save money this holiday season, find the cheapest seats on the cheapest possible airline, and forget the frills.
5. Find Alternatives
While the average traveler either drives or flies from place to place during the holidays, you should remember you have other options.
Many travelers take long-distance buses or even ride Amtrak trains. And if you're exceptionally lucky, you might even know someone already heading the direction you need to go.
Plus, if you don't take your own vehicle to your destination, you won't spend any money on extra gasoline for driving around the area.
6. Strategize Your Meals
One of the biggest expenses already during any holiday is food. But when you also have to travel a great distance, you'll be spending loads of money stopping to fill up.
Instead of wasting your money at gas stations and fast food joints, plan your meals ahead. Pack sandwiches and snacks, bottled water, trail mix, and anything else you can cram into a small cooler or backpack.
Even if you reach your destination a little on the hungry side, you're likely soon to encounter no shortage of delectable holiday delights.
7. Stay Flexible
Some people like to create a strict itinerary and stick to it, regardless of what happens. But as you well know, the holidays are the most hectic time of the year.
So if you stay open to suggestions and constantly look for any option you can find to save money this season, you might get through the holidays with your finances in one piece.
One of the many options to help you afford your holiday travel is a fast and affordable personal loan from Atlas Credit. Forget freaking out about last-minute flight fares -- by qualifying for a personal loan online or in person, you can pay for them with a promise of peace of mind.