Going away for the holidays? Thousands of eager travellers are probably thinking the exact same thing.
If you have not booked your flights for the holidays and are still procrastinating, you might need some help to avoid the high costs which come together with peak-season travel.
Here are a few tips so you can visit friends, family and enjoy your well deserved holidays without the stress.
Flights: Always book in advance
Many may argue booking last-minute flights can snag you the best deal, but if that is a little too risky for you, consider definitely booking in advance.
Sign up for email notifications from airlines which allow you to monitor fares.
Flights: Be flexible
Being flexible with flight times like travelling during the week can also help you get a better deal. Even flying early in the morning or on a red-eye flight can be better options. Smaller airports are hungry for new air service by waiving landing fees so travellers can fly in for a cheaper price.
Flights: Consider flying out from a different airport
Flying out of less busy airports has its benefits. Not only can you avoid long queues, security checks will also take less time with fewer passengers.
Cars and hotels: Considering staying at affordable hotel offshoots
Hotels are offering competitive deals to build guest loyalty. Large hotel chains are launching new brand offshoots offering great prices and culture for millennial travellers. Accor has Ibis Styles and even Jo and Joe which presents a hostel-meets-hotel-vibe; Marriott has edgy Moxy; and in Europe, the Grand Central by Scandic (above) in the heart of Stockholm is what European locals would choose for affordable stays without cutting back on service and amenities.
A wide collection of luxury and family-friendly hotels with excellent deals during peak travel times is my secret to living well in Europe. Europe has half-board and full-board options which means meals in the hotel's restaurant, as well as full access to the spa, sauna and pool.
Cars and hotels: Read up on accommodation in your city
But if family-run establishments are your preferred mode, Europe is a great spot to find all you need for less than 100 euros (US$119) a night - all inclusive! Schloss & Herrenhäuser offers one-of-a-kind European experiences in castles and historic hotels. These establishments are dotted around Austria but within driving distances to major cities such as Vienna, Salzburg and Munich. At the top of the list for affordability during peak periods is Schloss Weikersdorf Residenz & Spa - a 30-minute drive to major city Salzburg with the intimacy of a family-run luxury hotel - including a therapeutic hot sulphur spring to wash away any work-related stress.
Cars and hotels: Get around like a local
There are great ways to explore destinations without resorting to taxis all the time. Take Switzerland, for example - the on-time trains are worth every Swiss franc. Travelling from Geneva Airport to Lausanne can cost more than US$30 one way but there are options like BlaBlacar, which is a ride-sharing community to get you to your destination.
Once you check into your hotel, take environmentally sustainable modes of transport like city bikes to get you to your museum, art gallery, and the beach.
These are now available in most major cities like Brazil (Bike Rio), Paris (Velib), Sweden (Stockholm City Bikes; above), Switzerland (PubliBike) and New York (Citi Bike).
This article was first published in SilverKris.