How to travel for the holidays without impacting your financial goals

Travelling during or around the holidays can be exciting. For many people, it's easier to sneak away from work during the holiday season, and it can make for a great way to visit faraway friends and family. If you're thinking about travelling during the upcoming holiday season, now’s the time to make a plan.

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It's possible to save money on holiday travel, even if you still haven’t made your reservations. But you must act soon if you want to avoid overspending. Do you still need to book your holiday travel plans? Here are a few ways you can save money on holiday travel.

1. Book your trip as soon as possible

It's not too late to plan an incredible holiday vacation, but don't delay any longer. You'll likely pay much more if you continue to wait to book hotels, flights and other travel reservations. By planning your trip soon, you can get a better deal. Now is the perfect time to finalize your holiday travel plans before prices go up.

2. Pack light

If you're flying this holiday season, packing light could save you money. Depending on the destination that you're visiting and the airline ticket you book, it could cost you more money to check a bag. Instead of paying extra for checked bag fees, bringing only a carry-on could help you keep more money in your chequing account. Plus, you'll have less stuff to lug around.

3. Put your credit card rewards to use

Even if you book in advance, travelling during a busy season, like the holidays, can be costly. If you have unused credit card points, miles or cash back, you can redeem them to make your trip less expensive. Some travel rewards credit cards have flexible redemption programs that give you more control over how you cash out your travel rewards.

You may be able to redeem your rewards for free flights or hotel stays, which can be a significant win for your wallet.

4. Be flexible

If you have some flexibility with your travel dates, it could result in significant savings. It may not always be possible to take extra time off work around the holidays, but there are creative ways to save money on holiday travel costs if you have some flexibility.

For example, if you work a remote job, you may consider arriving a day or two earlier and working remotely from your destination before your vacation starts, to save on airfare costs. This strategy could work out nicely if you visit family and can stay at their home for free during the holiday season.

Being flexible can help you waste less cash and it can also help you avoid travelling on the busiest and most stressful days, when everyone else is travelling for the holidays.

5. Explore all discount opportunities

Before booking your trip, explore all discount opportunities. When booking a hotel, for example, you could get a better rate by signing up for the hotel's free loyalty program. Most hotel loyalty programs offer members a slight discount on the nightly rate.

Another option is to see if the hotel offers CAA discounts. Even a small discount can make a big difference. Don't be afraid to ask about discounts like this before booking, because it could help make your entire trip less costly.

If you have yet to book your holiday travel arrangements, it's not too late to make a plan. Consider some of the above suggestions so you can take a break and spend time with loved ones without forgetting your personal finance goals.

This article was written by Natasha Gabrielle from The Motley Fool and was legally licensed through the DiveMarketplace by Industry Dive. Please direct all licensing questions to

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