Having spent the past two Christmases away from home, I’m convinced that everyone should spend at least one Yuletide holiday overseas. If not overseas, well, then, at least not at home, but somewhere different—a place that’s new and exciting.

For many of us, the holidays are a much-needed break from the grind of everyday life. They’re a chance to relax and get centered. Also, the Christmas holidays come at the end of the year and the beginning of the next. It’s a good time to reflect on what we want to say “goodbye” and “hello” to for the coming year.

However, traveling at this time of the year can cost more money than usual. It makes sense, it’s peak season for many merchants and one of the most profitable (if not the most profitable) times in the year.

Great for them, sometimes not so great for us.

However, with a little money savvy, traveling during the holidays does not have to break the bank, or eat into your savings. I’ve put together some tips that should stretch your dollar as far as it can go, and ensure that you stay within your budget for the year.

When to book and when to fly

All right, if you’re wondering if it’s too late to fly somewhere for Christmas this year, you’re right! Let’s save this bit of wisdom for 2019, shall we? In fact, one of the things you can do is to get out your datebook/calendar/journal for next year and start marking it down.

Ready? For next year’s holidays, if you are flying out somewhere, the best time to start booking is in September. Buy your holiday flight tickets in October, when prices are between 3 and 5 percent lower than the rest of the year, according to flight aggregator Skyscanner.

CNN travel says, “you should definitely book travel around Christmastime before November 25, which is when prices start to steadily climb.”

Oh, and if you’re traveling for the first time as a couple next year, I have some advanced reading for you to do, our article on “Traveling With a New Partner for the First Time.” Forewarned is forearmed. You’re welcome!

Of course, if on impulse you suddenly get your heart set on traveling this year, you can always search online for “last minute travel deals.” Sign up for price alert deals even now, so that the moment something drops in price, you’ll know about it.

You may even get some fantastic bargains, and end up having the time of your life. If that happens, great!

But to be honest, I wouldn’t bet the farm on it. There are higher chances that you’ll end up spending more money. Practice a little delayed gratification, and start planning for next year instead.

The New Savvy - Finance - Money-wise Travel During the Christmas Holidays 2

How about flying on Christmas or New Years Day itself?

There’s an urban legend going around to the effect that flying out on December 24, 25, 31 or January 1will cost less money. Guess what? Sorry to say this, but it’s not true.

The thing is, a few years ago, this was still a fact. However, ever since plane fares became more affordable and more and more people decided not to stay home for the holidays, even flying on these special days themselves are no longer inexpensive.

I actually checked on the flight aggregator sites and for me, at least, the urban legend has been totally dispelled. Another downside of traveling on these days is that you’ll be in the air during the time people are getting together and will arrive too late for gatherings and festivities. So, no, this is not an option either.

What about a staycation instead?

If you still feel like you need a change of scene for these holidays, here’s one possibility. Why not book a staycation at a nice hotel? If Skyscanner is your best friend for flights, Agoda is its counterpart for hotel stays. This hotel booking service will give you the best prices on local hotel rooms.

Hotel websites will show whatever special events and meals they have during the holidays, but it’s on booking sites like Agoda where you’ll get rates that cost less money.

If you need ideas for gorgeous staycation places in Singapore, we’ve got a list of Staycation Spots in Singapore right here. Also, Park Hotel Alexandra has a Spanish-themed Christmas Dinner & Staycation special this year, all the way up to December 30, that’s worth a look. The menu is to die for. They say calories don’t count at Christmas, right?

The New Savvy - Finance - Money-wise Travel During the Christmas Holidays 3

Save money on local delights

“Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home.” There’s a lot to see in Singapore at any time of the year, but home is extra special during the holidays.

Don’t fret if you don’t get to travel this year—there are so many things that you can go to even around the city that are special and wonderful. Take Christmas Wonderland, at Gardens by the Bay, for example. By this time it will only be around for another week (they close on December 26), don’t miss this opportunity. Pro-tip, buy your tickets online. It’s cheaper, and most of the time you get in quicker.

For your inner gourmand, go visit Savour, nearby—especially for their cheese tasting, sausages, and meats. World-famous chefs will be there to dazzle you with their creations. Note, prices are two dollars more expensive by now (from December 15 to 26) but you can still get a group discount if you come in a group of 4. Why not bring your SO, your bestie and her SO, and make it a group date to remember?

Finally, we have our very own Christmas Village at Ngee Ann City Civic Plaza, which is only open until Christmas Day. Don’t miss it, it sounds like a blast with all the pop-up stores and live bands. You and your friends can even have a competition of who gets the best selfie with Santa! The best part of it is that it’s free, so even just walking around enjoying Orchard Road’s Christmas light-up will be a lovely treat.

Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in Budgeting, Money Savvy, Travel
Previous articleLast Minute and DIY Gift Ideas for Your Friends and Family!
Next article10 Affordable Yet Cozy Date Night Ideas This Christmas Season!
Anna Maria Romero is the Deputy Director of Lifeline Foundation by day and a freelance writer by night. Lifeline Foundation’s advocacy includes empowerment through financial literacy, which is why she has written and taught on this subject on numerous occasions. An educator by profession and training, Anna Maria graduated from the University of the Philippines, cum laude, and taught for more than two decades, having opened a school in 1995. She stepped down as as principal of South City Central School in 2015 in order to pursue a career in the non-profit sector. She is a contributing writer to an online news site, and has been on the creative team of “This Journal Will Actually Change Someone’s Life” since 2008, which is published by FreeSpeech Publications in Manila, Philippines. Anna Maria is a passionate advocate, volunteer, organizer, counselor, communicator, editor, and traveler, who’s always ready to pack up and go where she’s needed.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here