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8 Ways to Save Money on Thanksgiving Travel

Traveling during the Thanksgiving holiday can be a stressful and expensive affair. Millions of people brave the crowded airports and highways to spend time with family and friends.

While there are many logistics to consider, cost is arguably the most important one. To make your Thanksgiving travels as affordable as possible, there are many strategies to utilize.

In this article, we will explore different ways to save money on travel during Thanksgiving.

Saving on Travel during Thanksgiving

Book Flights as Early as Possible

One of the simplest and most effective ways to save money on flights is to book as early as possible. Prices start to go up the closer you get to the holiday, and the difference can be significant.

According to a study done by CheapAir, the best time to buy a Thanksgiving airfare is between late September and early October. Booking during this period can save you up to 21% compared to booking during the week of Thanksgiving.

Save on Lodging by Pet or House Sitting

Lodging can be another major expense during Thanksgiving. However, if you are comfortable with it, pet or house sitting can be a mutually beneficial solution.

Many people prefer to avoid boarding their pets during the holiday and may be willing to offer free lodging in exchange for pet care. Websites like TrustedHouseSitters.com connect house sitters with homeowners who need pet and house sitting services.

This is a great option for those who do not mind taking care of pets or have experience in house sitting.

Watch for Price Drops After Booking

While booking early is generally a good idea, it is also worth keeping an eye out for price drops. If you book a flight and the price drops later, some airlines may allow you to rebook at the lower price.

Alternatively, if you booked a refundable reservation, you can cancel and rebook if the price drops. Websites like Yapta and Hopper can help track price drops and notify you when it is time to rebook.

Fly on Thanksgiving Day

Another strategy to save on flights is to fly on Thanksgiving Day itself. This is the cheapest day to fly during the Thanksgiving holiday period.

Airlines often offer lower prices for this day since most people prefer to travel before or after the holiday. While flying on Thanksgiving Day may not be ideal for some, it is a great option for those looking to save a significant amount on airfare.

Fly Back the Monday After

Similarly, flying back on the Monday after Thanksgiving can also help you save money. This is because most people prefer to leave on Sunday, creating a surge in prices.

Flying back on Monday also allows you to enjoy the entire weekend with family and friends. This can be a great option for those who can take an extra day off work or have flexible schedules.

Book Flight Tickets at the Airport

If you are looking for a budget option or prefer to book in person, booking flight tickets at the airport can be a good option. However, this strategy requires research beforehand and a bit of flexibility.

Budget carriers such as Spirit, Frontier, and Allegiant Air may offer cheaper prices at the airport than online. It is important to compare prices beforehand and be flexible with your travel dates and times.

Be Flexible

One key to saving on Thanksgiving travel is being flexible. Whether it is being open to different travel dates or times, to different airports or even different transportation modes, flexibility can help save significant amounts of money.

One example of being flexible is opting for a one-stop flight instead of a non-stop. This can often result in lower prices than non-stops.

Websites like Skyscanner or Google Flights allow you to search for different options and compare prices easily.

Fly Early or Late in the Day

Another way to save on flights is to opt for early morning or late-night flights. These flights are often cheaper than mid-day flights, and they also allow you to avoid peak travel times.

Early morning flights are a great option for those who do not mind waking up early. Late-night flights (also known as red-eye flights) can be a good option for those who can sleep on planes and arrive at their destination feeling rested.

Fly Into/Out of Smaller Airports

Finally, flying into or out of smaller airports can often save you money. Larger airports tend to have higher prices and more competition for flights.

Researching smaller or drivable airports nearby can help you find cheaper options. Websites like Airfarewatchdog can help you find different airport options and compare prices easily.

Importance of Early Booking

Last-Minute Travel Isn’t Ideal for Thanksgiving

During the Thanksgiving holiday, last-minute travel is not ideal. Prices for flights, lodging, and even car rentals skyrocket the closer you get to the holiday.

Not only that, but availability becomes more limited as well. It is best to plan ahead and book early to avoid last-minute expenses and stress.

Book in Advance to Save Money

As mentioned earlier, booking in advance is one of the most effective ways to save money on Thanksgiving travel. Some airlines offer early bird deals for those who book several months in advance.

Additionally, booking early allows you to have more options and flexibility. Prices tend to go up the closer you get to the holiday, so book as early as possible.

Best Fares Available on Weekends Before Thanksgiving

If booking early is not an option, the next best option is to book during the weekends before Thanksgiving. This is when airlines tend to release their Thanksgiving deals.

Keep in mind that booking during these weekends does not guarantee the cheapest price, but it does increase your chances of finding a good deal.

Conclusion

Thanksgiving travel can be expensive and stressful, but it does not have to be. By utilizing these different strategies, you can save significant amounts of money on flights, lodging, and transportation.

Whether it is booking early, being flexible, or flying at different times, there are many ways to make your Thanksgiving travels more affordable and enjoyable.

3) House and Pet Sitting for Free Stay

Traveling can be an expensive endeavor. With inflated rates for flights, hotels, and rental cars, travel expenses can quickly add up.

One way to combat this is by taking advantage of free lodging through house and pet sitting. House and pet sitting is a mutually beneficial arrangement where homeowners allow a sitter to stay in their home and take care of their pets while they are away.

Alternative to Expensive Hotels and Rentals

House and pet sitting is a great alternative to expensive hotels and rentals. Instead of paying hundreds of dollars a night for a hotel or vacation rental, house and pet sitting allows you to stay for free.

Whether you are traveling domestically or internationally, house and pet sitting can help cut down on travel expenses significantly. Additionally, house and pet sitting allows you to have a more authentic travel experience by living like a local.

TrustedHouseSitters.com for Finding Sitting Opportunities

One of the best resources for finding house and pet sitting opportunities is TrustedHouseSitters.com. TrustedHouseSitters.com is a website that connects homeowners with trusted sitters for their pets and homes.

The website has thousands of listings around the world and allows sitters to search for opportunities based on location, dates, and pet preferences. The platform also provides sitters with reviews from previous homeowners, making it easy to vet potential opportunities.

Suited for Domestic Travel

House and pet sitting is especially suited for domestic travel. Since house and pet sitting does not usually require a work permit, it is a great option for those who want to explore their own country but do not have the budget for expensive lodging.

Additionally, with domestic travel, travel expenses such as flights or long-distance car rentals can be avoided or cut down.

4) Traveling Around Thanksgiving

Traveling around Thanksgiving can be tricky. It is a busy time of year, and prices for flights, rental cars, and hotels can often be inflated.

However, there are some strategies to help mitigate the costs and stress of traveling during this period.

Cheapest Day to Fly and Busy Days

If you are looking to save money on flights, flying on Thanksgiving Day is the cheapest day to fly. Many people prefer to travel before the holiday or stay for a few days after, making Thanksgiving Day itself less popular.

Additionally, Tuesdays and Wednesdays leading up to the holiday are generally cheaper than the days immediately before or after. However, it is important to note that the days surrounding Thanksgiving – the Wednesday before and the Sunday after – are typically the busiest travel days of the year.

If you do choose to fly during this period, expect crowds and busy airports. It is recommended to give yourself extra time at the airport and be prepared for potential delays.

Avoid Flying on Sunday After Thanksgiving

If possible, it is best to avoid flying on the Sunday after Thanksgiving. This is usually the most expensive day to fly during the holiday period.

Additionally, airports and highways can be extremely crowded, leading to long wait times and delays. If you can, flying back on Monday or Tuesday after Thanksgiving can be more cost-effective and less stressful.

In conclusion, traveling during Thanksgiving can be expensive and stressful, but it does not have to be. By utilizing strategies like house and pet sitting for free lodging and being mindful of the cheapest and busiest days to fly, you can make your Thanksgiving travels more affordable and enjoyable.

5) Flexibility and Alternatives

Travel can be a costly endeavor, regardless of whether you are traveling for business, leisure, or visiting family and friends. Fortunately, there are some tips and tricks that can help you save money and make your trip more enjoyable.

In this article, we will explore some ways you can be flexible and use alternatives to make your travel experience more affordable.

Be Flexible with Travel Dates

Being flexible with your travel dates can be one of the easiest ways to save money. Often, traveling on weekdays is less expensive than traveling on weekends.

If possible, try to avoid traveling during peak travel times, such as holidays or weekends. Additionally, consider traveling during the off-season, as prices tend to be lower.

Airlines and hotels are also more likely to offer deals during the off-season, which can help further reduce travel expenses.

Fly Early or Late in the Day

Flying early in the morning or late at night can also help save money. Red-eye flights are generally cheaper than daytime flights, and they can also help maximize your travel time.

Additionally, early morning flights tend to be less crowded and have a higher likelihood of being on time. However, keep in mind that early or late flights can be tiring, so be sure to plan accordingly and get enough rest before and after your flight.

Fly Into/Out of Smaller Airports

Flying into or out of smaller airports can also help save money. Large airports usually have more flight options, but they can also be more expensive.

Comparing flights from smaller airports nearby can sometimes yield lower prices. Additionally, smaller airports tend to be less crowded and can make for a more pleasant travel experience.

Websites like Skyscanner or Google Flights allow you to search different airports and compare prices easily.

Book in Person for Budget Carriers

If you are traveling on a budget, consider booking your flight in person with budget carriers. Some budget airlines offer cheaper prices when booking in person rather than online.

Additionally, booking in person can help reduce the fees that are often associated with online booking. However, this strategy requires research beforehand and a bit of flexibility, as budget carriers may fly from smaller airports or at odd hours.

In conclusion, travel can be expensive and stressful at times, but there are ways to make it more affordable and enjoyable. Being flexible with your travel dates, flying early or late in the day, flying into or out of smaller airports, and booking in person with budget carriers are all strategies that can help save money.

By utilizing these tips and tricks, you can plan a trip that is both affordable and memorable. In conclusion, travel can be expensive and stressful, especially during peak travel times like holidays.

However, by being flexible with travel dates, flying early or late in the day, flying into or out of smaller airports, and booking in person with budget carriers, you can save significant amounts of money and make your trip more enjoyable. Take advantage of resources like TrustedHouseSitters.com to find free lodging opportunities, and consider traveling during the off-season to further cut costs.

With these tips and tricks, you can have an affordable and memorable travel experience. It’s important to remember that traveling doesn’t have to be a financial burden – with careful planning and strategic approaches, you can enjoy the benefits and joys of exploring new places without breaking the bank.

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