“I’m traveling for the holidays.” Just those words can make blood pressures rise. Gridlock traffic, delayed flights, and crowded train stations come to mind. Add in high travel costs and making a trip during the holidays seems like a downright bad idea. But there’s a reason why so many people do it: Seeing family and perhaps returning to where you’re from makes the long journey worth it. And, there are ways to reduce costs and stress. Here are 3 tips for traveling during the holidays.
Travel during off-peak times
You can avoid the most crowded travel days by traveling on a holiday or the day before or after. For example, peak travel days for Christmas in 2017 were the Friday before and the Monday after. The first and last flights of the day are typically less expensive, and the airport is less busy during off hours. If you’re looking to travel in retirement without overspending, flying in the middle of the week and at off-hours can help at any time of the year.
Shipping gifts means less for you to carry while traveling. It also means that you won’t forget to bring anyone’s present with you and minimizes the chance that it will be damaged while you travel. It might not be worth it to bring gifts with you or wrap them ahead of time because TSA can unwrap and inspect all presents. If you do travel with gifts, you might want to pack them in your carry-on to make sure they’re not lost.
Check popular attractions to make sure they’re open during the holidays
If you plan on doing some sightseeing when traveling this holiday season, make sure to check admission hours for attractions. Many museums, parks, and tours have special hours of operation around the holidays. Also keep in mind that attractions tend to be closed on Mondays. Make sure to buy tickets in advance if possible so you’re not disappointed when you arrive.
If you’re looking for a retirement that goes smoother than an airport security line around Christmas, consider signing up for a no cost, no obligation financial review with O’Donnell Financial Group. We can help you map out where you’d like to be 10, 20, and 30 years from now, and create a roadmap to help you get there. We can help you with all your financial planning needs, from tax minimization strategies, to risk management, to Social Security maximization. Happy holidays from O’Donnell Financial Group!