Christmas Travel Deals

by Jessica

October 11th, 2011

xmastreeChristmas is one of the holidays many people consider synonymous with travel. For some, it means an annual trek home to see family. For others, it’s an excellent excuse to visit a new destination and celebrate the holiday in their style. Either way, it’s a season when enough people are traveling that it means you’ve got to do a bit of research in advance to prepare.

One of the main things that advance research helps with is the cost of travel at Christmas time – by doing your homework and booking in advance you’re more likely to save money on a ticket. But there are other things you can do ahead of time to prepare for Christmas travel that will make the trip less stressful – and we’ve covered all those topics in the articles linked below.

For more holiday travel tips, don’t miss these collections, too:

>> Christmas falls on a Tuesday in 2012

How to Find Cheap Christmas Airfare

Finding a good deal on airfare is always cause for celebration, but when you’re already trying to figure out if you can afford to buy gifts for all 13 cousins and their umpteen gazillion kids? Yeah, saving a few bucks on your flight is even better news then.

Unfortunately, there’s a big block of the calendar in December when flying is just going to be more expensive than it is at other times of the year (especially in winter) – the airlines know you have to fly, so it’s understandable that they’d raise the prices. But there are ways to find cheaper flights, and we’ve got them outlined in this article.

>> Read about how to find cheap airfare at Christmas

Worst and Best Days to Travel at Christmas

Although the calendar isn’t as specific around Christmas travel as it is around Thanksgiving travel, there are still days when it’s better to fly than others. And by “better,” I mean the days when the airport is going to be a little less crowded and airline tickets are going to cost a little less, both of which qualify as “better” in my book.

Again, the drop in price from the worst to the best days to travel at Thanksgiving is probably going to be more significant than the days around Christmas, but every little bit helps, right?

>> Read more about which ones are the best and worst days to fly at Christmas

Christmas Travel Tips for the Airport

Flying at any point over the Christmas holiday can be a royal pain – the airports are overcrowded and weather delays are more common. And although some of the tips we brought you about surviving the airport at Thanksgiving are the same ones that hold true at Christmas, there are circumstances at Christmas that make things like traveling carry-on only significantly more challenging (if not impossible).

So, here’s a list of tips for surviving the airport at Christmas, taking those special situations into consideration. There are some things in here you should probably do on every trip to the airport, but they’re even more important during the busy holiday season.

>> Read more about Christmas travel airport tips

Alternative Airports to Major U.S. Hubs

When you’re looking for an airfare bargain, every door is worth opening – so don’t rule out flying into or out of an airport that isn’t the main airport for that city. Many cities around the country (especially the bigger hub airports) have multiple airports that actually serve them. Including these other nearby airports in your search for airline tickets could help you find a great deal.

In particular, these other airports are sometimes cheaper to use because they’re the ones that the discount airlines fly in and out of. Just as long as there’s adequate public transportation (or you have your transportation already sorted out), a secondary airport could be your ticket to a cheaper ticket.

>> Read more about the alternate airports to big U.S. hubs

Budget Airlines in the U.S.

Along with the big airlines that most of us are familiar with – carriers like American Airlines, United, or Continental – there are several discount airlines operating in the United States that could make a huge difference on the amount you pay for your airline ticket, whether it’s Christmas or not. These airlines might fly into some of those alternate airports discussed in the article linked above, and they may only serve a portion of the country, but it’s worth looking at them to see if they could save you some money.

It’s also important to note that some of these budget carriers don’t let their fares show up in search results of the big booking engines, so unless you visit their sites specifically you could miss out on them entirely.

>> Read more about the discount airlines in the U.S.

Budget Airlines in Canada

We haven’t forgotten our northern neighbors, and neither have the budget airlines! In truth, there aren’t as many big discount carriers in Canada as there are in the U.S., but there are a few worth noting. Also, some of the small regional airlines that only serve certain parts of the country (hence the name “regional”) may have lower prices on flights to and from where you’re going. In any case, it’s always worth checking.

>> Read more about discount airlines in Canada

More Christmas Travel Inspiration

top photo by scottfeldstein; collage photos by darvina06, Rachel Tayse, Jim, the Photographer

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