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How to Take a Holiday Vacation Without Paying Holiday Premiums

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It’s so tempting to take your summer vacation over Memorial Day weekend, the 4th of July or Labor Day weekend. After all—you get a paid holiday so you don’t have to use as much vacation time. But we all know time is money—and if you choose to travel on one of these holidays, you could pay a premium for airfare, hotel or vacation rental and rental cars. How do you get around it?

Air Travel
Airlines know more people travel during the holidays, so if you can avoid booking a flight on an actual holiday, you’ll save money. The exception to this is Thanksgiving Day or Christmas Day. Sometimes flying on those holidays can be a little cheaper because that's when people are with their families. You could choose your flights several days before and after the actual holiday instead of the day before, the day of (if it's one of the summer 3-day weekends) or the day after. If the holiday is in the middle of your vacation you could possibly still have an affordable trip. Another option is to plan your trip the week before and use your holiday as the last day of your vacation to relax. Your flight back could be the day before, or you could fly out the day after the holiday and use the holiday to pack.

The same premise holds true for hotels and other vacation rentals—prices tend to be higher because people like to travel during holidays. Again, beginning or ending your vacation with a holiday or planning for the holiday to fall in the middle can save you a lot of money. On the other hand, if you are traveling to visit friends or family, staying with them could save you a lot on accommodations. Just be sure you offer to buy them a meal or two out, at least!

If you have to book accommodations during a holiday, look for hotels that offer holiday packages. Some will include free parking, free breakfast or coupons to discount the cost of local attractions. (Speaking of local attractions, remember there will be long lines to contend with, so plan your time accordingly.)

If you really don’t have a lot of vacation time and you need to use one of your paid holidays as a travel day, plan as far in advance as you possibly can, and consider staying a little further away from the “main attraction” to save money. That way, you can still save money without breaking the bank!


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