Travelling during the Christmas holidays costs you extra

Celebrate Christmas with a holiday. (rawpixel.com)

For many of you, the holidays are a much-needed break from the grind of everyday life. They’re a chance to relax and get centred.

However, travelling at this time of the year can cost more than usual. It’s peak season and one of the most profitable times in the year for many businesses.

With a little money savvy, holiday travelling does not have to break the bank. Here are some tips to ensure that you stay within your budget:

When to book and when to fly

If you’re wondering if it’s too late to fly somewhere for Christmas this year, you’re right! So get out your smartphone calendar for next year and start marking your planned trips now.

For next year’s holidays, the best time to start booking is in September. Buy your holiday flight tickets in October, when prices are between 3% to 5% lower than the rest of the year.

Of course, if on impulse you suddenly set your heart on travelling this year, you can always search online for “last minute travel deals.” Sign up for price alert deals so that the moment something drops in price, you’ll know about it.

You may possibly get some fantastic bargains and end up having the time of your life. But to be honest, there is a higher chance that you’ll end up spending more money. Practice a little delayed gratification and start planning for next year instead.

How about flying on Christmas or New Year’s Day itself?

There’s an urban legend that flying out on Dec 24, 25, 31 or Jan 1 will cost less. Sorry but that’s not true.

A few years ago, this was a fact. However, with plane fares becoming more affordable and more people deciding not to stay home for the holidays, flying on these special days is no longer cheap.

Plan your holidays early to take advantage of pricing (rawpixel.com)

Another downside of travelling on these days is that you’ll be in the air during the time people are getting together and will arrive too late for gatherings and festivities. So this is not a good option.

What about a staycation instead?

If you still feel you need a change of scene for the holidays, why not book a staycation at a nice hotel? Agoda is your best friend for hotel stays as it will give you the best prices on hotel rooms.

Hotel websites will show whatever special events and meals they have during the holidays, but it’s on booking sites like Agoda where you’ll get rates that cost less money.

Save money on local delights

“Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home.” Indeed home is extra special during the holidays.

Don’t fret if you don’t get to travel this year. There are many things that you can go to around your city that are special and wonderful.

For your inner gourmand, go visit the hotels, specially for their cheese tastings, sausages, Turkey and meats. World-famous chefs will be there to dazzle you with their creations.

Finally, Malaysians have our very own Christmas street festival at Bukit Bintang, which will be a blast with all the pop-up stores and live music buskers.

Your friends and you can even have a competition to see who gets the best selfie with Santa! The best part is that it’s free, so even just walking around enjoying the Christmas lights will be a lovely treat.

This article first appeared in The New Savvy.

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