Money Matters Story Idea: Reduce the Hidden Costs of Holiday Travel

It’s Dec. 14. Nearly, the official travel time for the holidays. Your audience will soon be loading their car or catching flights to your family and friends. But the trip and their holiday shopping list may leave their wallets feeling the wintertime blues. Fortunately, there are a number of ways you can help your audience trim costs en route to their holiday destinations, according to an article on's Recommendations for Reporters to Pass Along to Road Trippers

Carpool: See if there is a friend who needs a lift. Not only will there be someone to talk to, but expenses, such as gas and highway tolls, can be split.

Rent based on fuel efficiency: If they're renting a car, encourage them to not go for the snazziest vehicle. Tell them to opt for something that provides good fuel efficiency; a car that gets at least 30 mpg can save a lot of money at the pump.

Get a tune-up: Before they hit the road, encourage your audience to have a professional make sure their vehicle is in tip-top shape. This will save them the frustration and cost of paying for a tow truck, repairs, and a rental should the car break down.

Pack a cooler: Instead of surviving off meals from restaurants and truck stops, your audience members can pack a cooler with some nutritious eats, such as sandwiches, carrot sticks, and trail mix.

Grab the gifts: If holiday shopping has been done in advance, pack the gifts in a car. This will save the expense of having them mailed ahead of time.

Bring a pet: Although a pooch or kitty may like being pampered at a fancy pet hotel, that can easily cost several hundred dollars on boarding for the holidays. Why not save some money and include Fido in the festivities?'s Tips for Air Travelers

Arrive early: Missing a flight not only is a hassle, but also it can be an expensive mistake. If airfare is nonrefundable, your audience will have to shell out hundreds for a last-minute reservation.

TIP - Visit the airport website to find out security wait times, road conditions, and parking lot capacities. This will help someone judge how early you need to leave for the airport. The recommended time of arrival is at least two hours before a flight.

TIP - Contact the airline immediately if you know ahead of time that you aren’t going to make your flight. You may be able to change your reservation for a fee. Although it’s not free, it will almost certainly be cheaper than waiting until your flight has taken off.

Sneak in snacks: All those airport restaurants might seem tempting, but prices inside the terminals tend to be sky high. Instead, pack some snacks to satisfy a big appetite. Just remember that in order to bring food through security, it can’t be a liquid.

Bring entertainment: Include books, magazines, crossword puzzles, and anything else that might occupy time while waiting for a flight or possible delays. Also, make sure to fully charge electronics in advance. This will prevent many people from spending down time shopping at the airport’s retail outlets.

Ship presents: Most airlines charge for each checked bag. To cut down on these extra costs, do holiday shopping online, and have the retailer ship the gift to the holiday destination. Alternatively, one can buy smaller items that can easily tuck into a carry-on.

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