Tuesday, July 29, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

How to save money, sanity on holiday travel

Traveling can be a challenge during this time of year, especially if the weather is iffy and/or small children are involved. SHNS illustration

SH12K001BUTTONEDUP Nov. 5, 2012 -- by Hollie Sehrt and Cindy Rodriguez)

By
From page HH6 | November 14, 2012 |

By Sarah Welch and Alicia Rockmore

Traveling this holiday season? If you are one of the estimated 92 million people who just nodded your head to that question, keep reading. Traveling can be a challenge during this time of year, especially if the weather is iffy and/or small children are involved. The keys to surviving with savings and sanity intact are, of course, organization and planning. In that spirit, we’ve put together seven tips for getting your trip buttoned up well before you head out.

1. Map out where the cheapest gas prices are and plan pit stops in those areas. A car trip out of state? Or even just out of the area? Research gas prices where you’re heading and plan to fill up your car wherever it is cheapest. There are four good online tools for researching gas prices: AAA.com, Automotive.com, GasBuddy.com and GasPriceWatch.com. That 20 or 30 cents per gallon you save can quickly add up. For example, if you’re driving 50 miles both to and from your destination, at 30 cents per gallon the savings will fatten your wallet by $30. Think about it: If you found that money on the street, you’d be ecstatic!

2. Pack food for the trip. Whether you’re going by plane, train or automobile, having sandwiches and snacks on hand will significantly cut costs. If you’re traveling by train or car, bring your own drinks as well. In addition to saving you money, it is also a great way to ensure you’re eating healthily and avoiding the dreaded creep of extra holiday pounds.

3. Ship smart. Getting there by air? Before you get to the airport only to find that your oversized bag is going to cost you big time, compare the costs of shipping your presents ahead of time versus how much you’ll be paying in baggage fees. Additionally, see if you can save by prepaying baggage fees. Finally, according to airfarewatchdog.com, “if you are a heavy packer, you’ll want to fly with AirTran, Alaska, Frontier and Southwest, even if there’s a cheaper fare on another airline.”

4. Rent smart. Need to rent a car? Contact your auto-insurance company to see if your current policy applies to rental vehicles so you don’t have to pay through the rental agency itself when you’re already covered. Compare car size as opposed to miles you’ll be driving. Often, larger vehicles will be less expensive than smaller or hybrid gas-savers. If you’re traveling a good distance, then probably the gas-saver will be what you need. But if you’re flying in and just driving from the airport to your destination and around town, you can save a good chunk of dough by choosing the rental car that has the best deal.

5. Get your gift list in order early. We have a free printable gift worksheet you can download at GetButtonedUp.com. Use it to make a list of exactly what you need to get for whom. Don’t go into the store with an “I’ll know it when it hits me” attitude because that will inevitably lead to going over your budget. Scour newspaper circulars, online-site deals or mobile notifications and try to purchase when items are on sale. Then wrap and tag them immediately. This not only cuts down on the mad rush to get things done, but you won’t tend to spend more simply to save time.

6. Bring entertainment. If you are staying overnight somewhere, be sure to bring “things to do” for grown-ups and children. Idle time can bring about quick trips to town, which in turn lead to spending money you don’t want or need to spend. So pack CDs, books, e-readers, games and tablets. Go with small items to save room in the car or in carry-on luggage.

7. Book well in advance. Every week you wait to book your tickets after the last week in October usually adds $5 to your ticket cost. If you’re not staying with family, book a hotel room well in advance and check travel sites to get the best deals or package deals.

Bottom line: Holiday travel is often harrowing, but it will be less so if you don’t act at the last minute. Organize, research and prepare. Not only will you be able to save some bucks, but you’ll have peace of mind to relax and enjoy your holiday with family and friends.

Comments

comments

Scripps Howard News Service

.

News

That’s the ticket: Mondavi gets dynamic with pricing

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Tickets, sponsorships available for 10th annual Village Feast

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Ramco launches innovation center outreach effort

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Bob Dunning: Just be glad we don’t want fingerprints

By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
House to vote on slimmed-down bill for border

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Crews make gains on foothills wildfire

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

Groundwater expert will speak in Woodland

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Pets of the week

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Fair entries due soon for veggie, flower exhibitors

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Forum will explore injured veterans’ issues

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Humphrey Fellows share tales from their countries

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Hear Julie and the Jukes in the park

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Square Tomatoes celebrates its anniversary

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

Exchange program seeks host families

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

 
.

Forum

Our own policies do us harm

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Pat Oliphant cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A4

It’s all the ecologists’ fault

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A4

 
Refrain from generalization

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A4

 
It hurts, but not as much as the truth

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

Accusations tear family down

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
.

Sports

Thorpe named UCD head softball coach

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Republic sets attendance record

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Cats let win slip away in Tacoma

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

Houston continues to be a problem for A’s

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Lawrence Okoye preparing for the NFL

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Pirates plunder S.F.

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
.

Features

.

Arts

.

Business

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Tuesday, July 29, 2014 (set 1)

By Creator | From Page: B5

 
Comics: Tuesday, July 29, 2014 (set 2)

By Creator | From Page: B7