Archive for the ‘Holiday Travel’ Category

Five Ways to Save: Last Minute Holiday Travel & New Year Getaways

November 29, 2011
Emily Kaufman, The Travel Mom

Emily Kaufman, The Travel Mom

With the holidays looming, millions of Americans will line up at airport terminals grimly hoping that they’ll survive their air travel experience with their bank account intact after all the extra fees.  If you booked your holiday travel in advance this season, domestic airfare was expected to be down 1.4 percent overall, with tickets averaging $302, as opposed to $306 last holiday according Bing Travel. But if you’ve waited until the last minute to book your holiday travel plans, you still have options.  The Travel Mom, Emily Kaufman, has valuable advice for everyone traveling this season to avoid the ho-ho-hums of holiday travel.

Travel Tip #1: Road Trips vs. Air Travel Can Save Thousands of Dollars for Families.  If you’ve waited until the last minute to book a flight, you’re going to have a challenge finding a great airfare Christmas week but there still may be time for New Year getaway deals.  Driving instead of flying can save you two ways – a family of four can save thousands of dollars in airfare even with the price of gasoline on a road trip. You’ll also save hundreds of dollars on luggage fees.

Travel Tip #2:  Book a Reservation at an All-Suite Hotel vs. Standard Hotel.  Savings is about getting more bang for your buck so stay at a hotel that gives you more value than just a standard hotel like an all-suites hotel.   Embassy Suites Hotels is the only full service hotel that gives you a two-room suite for the price of one room.  This holiday season, they are also giving away a $10,000 online shopping spree.  You can enter to win at and you receive one entry for every night you stay between now and January 31st.

Travel Tip #3:  Never Pay for Breakfast.  If you book the right hotel, you should never have to pay for breakfast which can save a family of four several hundred dollars over a one-week vacation or trip.  Look for hotels that provide a breakfast as part of the lodging fee, like Embassy Suites that includes a free cooked-to-order breakfast.  This can be a significant savings when you travel with kids.

Travel Tip #4: Get Local Deals at Your Drive-To Destination through Tourism Websites.  No matter where you live, road trips are a trend this winter because of the savings.  Recent holiday travel polls show that Americans are sticking with their cars instead of braving airport hassles and are choosing closer to home getaways for winter breaks.  Connecticut, the Closer Than You Think state, is a great drive to destination and a fun winter escape with four different areas for snowboarders and skiers of all levels. Places like Mohawk Mountain have seven ski lifts and snowmaking capabilities plus affordable packages for children starting at $27 a lift ticket. Beyond the slopes, there’s Mystic Aquarium & Institute for Exploration and a free planetarium show at Mystic Seaport.  You can find lots of getaway ideas and discounts at dozens of area hotels, restaurants, attractions and shops at

Travel Tip #5:  Don’t Forget to Use Travel Reward Programs to Save. Travel reward programs and credit card rewards have more ways to use points for travel items outside of hotel rooms and airfare and include activities and meals when you arrive.

The biggest trend is that overall, travel spending for holiday travel is up from a year ago and 41% of people traveling are spending $500 or more.  Also, travel technology and the latest apps that make travel easy are trending in travel.

Don’t forget to use defensive flying tips BEFORE you board the plane.  That means use technology first to find out about delays in advance and have a back up plan including phone numbers or email addresses programmed in your phone so you can let your family know about delays – especially if you have someone picking you up at your destination.  Also, make sure you have a boredom buster bag for the kids with games, books and electronics so they don’t cranky.