Many online articles focus on holiday sales and deals, and other articles focus on cutting costs on the gifts you give. But there's another huge cost that ratchets up many people's holiday expenses: travel.
Interested in saving money on flight travel this holiday season? Here are a few pointers.
#1: Fly on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. -- Demand for airline tickets is low on Christmas Day, which means this is a great deal to get budget flights. When I was a college student, had very little money, and needed to pay for an airplane ticket home for the holiday break, I flew Christmas Day. If your relatives give you grief for flying on Christmas, explain that it's the most affordable ticket.
#2: Avoid Airport Parking -- Parking at the airport is expensive. Compare the cost of parking to the round-trip price of taking a shuttle van, a taxi, or public transit to the airport. It might be cheaper to reach the airport in a different way. If you absolutely MUST drive, look for private parking lots that are located just off the airport's property -- these are often cheaper than airport parking, and they usually include a free shuttle to the airport doors.
#3: Print Your Ticket at Home -- Some airlines, like Spirit Airlines, charge money to print a boarding pass at the airport. Print yours at home, or download it to your phone.
#4: Bring Food with You -- Meals-on-the-go are expensive. Bring snacks while you fly so you're not tempted to purchase an airport meal.
#5: Weigh Your Luggage -- Each airline has its own requirements about how large and how heavy your luggage can be. Measure and weigh your bags to avoid mandatory checked-bag fees or "overweight" bag charges.