Thanksgiving is behind us, and Christmas is around the corner — what better way to celebrate the end of the holiday season than a New Year’s Eve getaway? While travel can be a headache during the holidays, there’s nothing better than looking forward to relaxing on the beach or sipping your favorite blend in wine country.
But if you’re thinking, “How could I ever afford that this year after all the holiday parties and gift giving?” Mint has you covered. To take the stress out of post-holiday travels and in order to treat yourself to a fun (budget-friendly) trip, consider the below options to help you save a few bucks before takeoff.
1. Keep a holistic view of your budget. While planning a post-holiday getaway can be exciting, don’t forget that the travel expenses are just one of many costs associated with the holidays. If you didn’t set up a comprehensive budget before the holiday season — or didn’t include a last-minute getaway in your holiday budget — make sure to build a quick list of costs associated with your trip, so that can help you narrow down your NYE destination.
2. Keep an eye on deals + apps. There is an app for everything these days, and sure enough, there are several apps and websites you can use to track flights, trips, and pricing for where you want to go. Hopper is a great tool you can use to get the best price for any flight. Plug in the dates, location, and have them do the rest. Take a break from hotels with Airbnb’s Instant Book homes, listings that you can book for a quick getaway, without waiting for host approval. Simply choose your travel dates, book a preferred listing, and then discuss the trip and arrival details with your host. This can not only save on hotel costs and fees, but it also could help you stay on budget by choosing a listing with a kitchen so you can make a few meals on your own when traveling instead of eating out each day.
3. Consider bargain locations and alternate ways to travel. Is there somewhere on your travel bucket list where you could drive or take a train? Take advantage of these destinations and make a fun road trip plan with your favorite buddy to visit a new (somewhat) local spot. And not all vacations have to be international beaches or warm-weather spots; consider a break to the mountains to ski, snuggle up by the fire, or enjoy a few hot toddies! Without the flight included in your costs, you could save hundreds, and that could open up another experiential splurge or two.
4. Use a credit card to earn rewards. If you use a credit card to pay for travel, make sure you use one that offers the most advantageous rewards and manageable fees. One big credit card perk is access to airline lounges and executive clubs in airports around the globe, to help alleviate the stress of holiday travel and long layovers. If you have multiple credit cards, review the fine print on the interest rates, rewards, billing cycle, credit limits, and late fees. This will make sure you earn something back when spending on travel, while also steering clear of unexpected late fees or interest rates.
5. Follow social channels. Airline social channels and resort or hotel pages can be very helpful tools to keep you informed about travel sales or special pricing. Be the first to know about flash deals and membership rewards by pressing the “follow” button on Twitter, Instagram, and/or Facebook.
Traveling is possible for everyone if you do it right! If you’re one of those people that doesn’t think travel can be inexpensive, think again, and keep an eye on those less expensive locations, flight prices, and hotel or resort deals — it will go a long way to giving you peace of mind before and after the holiday craze.
(Photo via Getty)