Travelling at Christmas on a budget
These days we're more likely to have family at least a few hours away whether it be by car or plane. This makes it the peak time for travellers and also can be pretty nasty on the wallet and sometimes your nerves.
If you are travelling for Christmas whether it's for a few hours by car or to the other side of the world by air,it can be a mixture of excitement and torture. Here's some quick tips to save your sanity and some extra dollars for important things, like you know, presents!
If travelling for at least an overnight stay for Christmas
- Give yourself as much lead-time as possible. Arrive at your destination at least one day in advance to unpack and get settled in.
- Pack extra bags - at Christmas it's likely you will have to come home with more than you left with! You don't want to be buying extra luggage. Taking some reusable shopping bags can do the trick! Packing a smaller suitcase inside a larger suitcase is another secret that works to bring home the Christmas gift loot.
- Send ahead - post your gifts to the destination ahead of time - one less thing to worry about to save you a bundle in excess luggage.
- Research and plan an activity away from the hosts at your destination - it can break up the trip and keep everyone happy.
- If it's a long-haul trip to your destination, stash some little Christmas gifts for the children to unwrap along the journey.
- If you are travelling overseas - check your passports and visas are in order in advance of time. Consulates and passport offices are not places that want to help you beat the Christmas rush during the silly season.
Money saving tip
If you are flying, book your flights NOW if you haven't already. Airlines penalise your hip pocket a little bit more with every week as Christmas approaches. Some of the budget airlines are known for the cheapest flights and if you're prepared to travel on December 25, as opposed to the rush times of Christmas Eve or Boxing Day, then you can save a little more.
If travelling for the day
- Save one special present for your children to open just before they leave - one that may keep them occupied for part of the trip.
- You can have a special Christmas "I spy". Who can count the most Santas, the most candy-cane signs or spot the most Christmas lights on houses.
- Pack lots of drinks and be prepared for hot weather - we do live in the sunburnt country - you can still get sunburnt in a car so sunscreen and water are vital accompaniments.
Money saving tip
When travelling by car, fill up the car or even fill up a jerry can with petrol before the price sky-rockets during the week of Christmas.