Although Christmas can be the most enjoyable time of the year, it can also be the most expensive. Having to adhere to a set budget for buying gifts isn't ideal, but it's a common scenario for many families that have other crucial bills and expenses to consider.
While spending Christmas at home is the conventional approach, many families decide to turn the holiday into a vacation instead. Adding travel to the equation can certainly be more fun, but it will also create a slew of additional expenses. Fortunately, you can drastically reduce the cost of a Christmas vacation by heeding the following four tips:
1. Gearing Up and Booking Affordably
Deal comparison sites like Blast My Deal make it easy to find an abundance of last minute travel deals, including discounts on hospitality and travel-related products. Even if you think you already have the travel gear covered, browsing through the latest deals at the last minute might remind you of something that would make your trip a bit more enjoyable, or it could spur a spontaneous decision to choose an entirely new destination.
2. Book Travel Tickets in Advance
Since the cost of travel will be one of the primary expenses, it's best to look for savings in this department first. Regardless of what method of travel you use, booking the trip as far ahead in advance as possible is the best way to earn a discount on the core price. Many travellers will already be taking the advanced booking approach to receive lower rates. However, it's worth noting that there are times when doing the opposite – finding last minute deals - can get you the best price.
3. Settle for Rural Locations
If you'd like to practice some frugality on this trip, consider looking outside of major metropolitan areas. Even if you plan on visiting the city, opting to stay out of town but within reasonable travel distance from the main destination is the best financial route. Plus, most major cities have “satellite towns” surrounding them, and these lesser-known cities are still within close proximity to the attractions but cost much less. For example, if you plan on visiting Paris, you could consider one of the many cheap towns located within an hour of the city.
4. Visit Distant Relatives
Finally, instead of visiting some far-off land, it would not only be more affordable but also more in the spirit of Christmas to spend the holiday with distant relatives. If they have enough room in their home to accommodate your family for a short stay, that could save you hundreds or even thousands on hospitality expenses.
Planning and Preparing for a Fun Trip
Aside from looking to save funds, it's also good to aim for an enjoyable and memorable experience overall. Thus, if you're trying to adhere to a strict budget, it may be best to reconsider, re-plan, or choose a new location for the vacation. While it might not be the destination you had initially envisioned, a more affordable spot will leave more Christmas money for gifts and entertainment.