Traveling for the Holidays? It’ll Cost You Extra

Many people choose to travel for the holidays. It’s a time to be with family, and if you don’t live close to family, it’s only natural that you want to find a way to bridge the distance. My small family doesn’t travel in time for Christmas, but we do like to drive up to my parents’ house after Christmas to spend a few days enjoying family ties.

However, holiday travel isn’t just something of a hassle when you consider the logistics. You also have to consider the fact that it can also cost you extra.

Cost of Holiday Air Travel

One of the biggest costs of holiday travel is airfare. If you are planning to fly anywhere for the holidays, it’s going to be costly. There are things you can do to reduce the cost, such as booking in advance, or flying on days that no one else wants to travel, such as Christmas Day itself.

However, no matter how many travel tricks you employ, the reality is that airfare around this time of year is always going to be more expensive than flying during “off” times in the fall and spring.

While we’re toting up the costs to travel by air, you should also consider the fact that you might have extra baggage fees. If you are transporting presents across the country as part of your flying efforts (and then transporting them back), the extra suitcase can cost anywhere between $25 and $50, depending on how many other bags you are checking, and how much the bags weigh.

It’s possible to reduce some of this cost by shipping your presents, though. I have a friend who prepares well in advance, buying presents, and then wrapping them. Then she can send them parcel post a month in advance (to make sure they get there) for less than the cost of checking another bag. This option won’t work for all presents, but it might work for some, and it makes sense to give it a try if you are afraid of the baggage fees.

Traveling internationally for the holidays? You might have issues associated with taxes, exchange fees (possibly even for your credit card purchases), and other costs. It’s important to account for these as much as possible ahead of time.

What About Driving?

There might even be extra costs associated with driving during the holidays. Many of these extra costs come as a result of being stranded. Bad weather and accidents might mean that you idle your car, using more gas and having to pay the price at the pump. You might also have costs associated with poor gas mileage as you load up the car. And what happens if you breakdown or have some other problem? You might have to pay a tow bill or deal the with aftermath of higher insurance premiums if you are in a wreck.

Many of the costs related to driving are a bit indirect, and they are far from certain, but they are still there, and they can still impact your bottom line.

Do you travel this time of year? Does it cost you extra?

About the Author

Miranda writes about financial topics for several web sites. Her blog is Planting Money Seeds, and her book, Confessions of a Professional Blogger, is available on Amazon.