The leaves are falling off the trees, Halloween has come and passed, and November is now upon us. It can only mean one thing: Thanksgiving is right around the corner.
With all the food, football, and relaxation that come with the holiday, Thanksgiving is a hard weekend to beat. It is also a great opportunity to spend time with family, both immediate and more distant relatives. There’s only one problem; there’s a good chance that you live on one coast, your sister lives on the other, and your parents still live in your childhood home in the Midwest. Before all that family bonding, relaxation, and food consumption can take place, you’re likely going to need to do some traveling.
For many of us, money is tight this year, meaning that we are looking to cut our expenses whenever and wherever possible. With this in mind, our Thanksgiving travel plans are a good candidate for cost reduction. So long as we conveniently arrive at our location, we want to spend as little as possible to get there.
Fortunately, saving money on Thanksgiving travel doesn’t require a personal financial advisor from somewhere like Cavalry Portfolio Services. Of course, it all depends on how far you’re traveling, and your distance, starting point, and destination may all dictate your mode of travel. But, for every way to travel, there are at least a couple ways to save money. Here are a few:
Even with high gas prices, driving is still one of the cheaper ways to do inter-city travel. But make sure to plan before you go: gas prices vary tremendously between states and often between counties. If your trip covers multiple such jurisdictions, check out a site like gasbuddy.com beforehand, to help you figure out the best places to fill up your tank.
With the recent popularity of Megabus on the East Coast and in the Midwest, Greyhound has lost much of its market presence in those areas. This is good news for the consumers, who get lower prices as a result. Unless you booked early you probably won’t get one of Megabus’s famous $1 fares during the busy Thanksgiving week. However, both companies are offering special online discounts and coupons for Thanksgiving travel. A little internet research should help you find some of these cost-saving codes.
If driving and taking a bus are not feasible options for the distance you need to travel – or if you simply preference the shorter duration of a flight – there are still ways to save money with air travel. The best way to do this during the Thanksgiving season is probably by being flexible with your travel days. During Thanksgiving week, the peak periods for airline travel are as follows: Wednesday evening, Thursday morning, and all day on Sunday. If you have the flexibility to avoid flying at those times, you can probably avoid some airport delays and save some money in the process.
Ultimately, no matter how limited your mode of travel is, there are usually ways to cut a few dollars off your expenses if you are enterprising enough. In doing so, you can still get to your destination and have that relaxing Thanksgiving with your family that you probably seek – but you can strain your budget a bit less in the process.
Nora Charles is a freelance writer that has worked with many bloggers for several years now.