Once again, the holidays have snuck up on us. There are now only a handful of shopping days left until the big day, so time is running out to find the best deals for the upcoming holiday season.
Whether you are still shopping for the perfect gifts for everybody on your list or planning your last-minute holiday getaway, saving money is the name of the game. Nobody wants to spend too much, and yet the longer you wait, the more expensive everything seems.
Here then are some last-minute tips to getting the most for your money this holiday season.
Everyone knows that the longer you wait to make your travel plans, the more it’s going to cost you, right? Not necessarily!
There actually are some amazing last-minute bargains available if you are flexible with your travel dates and location. Visit the website of the major and discount airlines that serve your area’s airport and sign up for their online notifications.
Many airlines will offer deeply discounted airfares to fill up flights even on the day of travel and will send out emails to their subscribers notifying them of these exclusive offers.
You also want to keep your eye on the weather report. If it doesn’t look like it’s going to a White Christmas after all, you might consider jumping in your car to take a holiday road trip. Gas prices are at their lowest levels in close to a decade, so driving vacations have never been cheaper.
Christmas is one of the best times to book a cruise. Demand is at its lowest, so cruise lines will offer discount rates and special packages to attract travelers. You can still enjoy all of the luxurious accommodations for a fraction of the price.
With the low prices available on most cruise lines during the Christmas holiday, you may even be able to take the whole family, or upgrade your accommodations for less than what you would pay for bare bones lodging any other time of the year.
But don’t wait too long. New Year’s Eve cruises are some of the most in-demand, so prices will shoot back up as soon as the Christmas holiday cruise pulls into port.
Sure, Black Friday and Cyber Monday already have come and gone. But there are still plenty of great deals to be found both online and in the stores.
One of the benefits of the Internet is that you can surf dozens of sites and compare prices.
Most people make sure they get their holiday shopping done early so that they can enjoy the holiday without the anxiety and pressure of having to pick up last-minute gifts. But there’s actually a financial benefit to waiting until the very last moments of the shopping season to do your gift buying.
Most retailers want to clear out their holiday inventory in order make room for the new merchandise that will be available starting on the day after the holiday. So when you wait until Christmas Eve to do your holiday shopping, not only will you have fewer other shoppers to compete with – you may even have the mall to yourself – but you also can get some incredible discounts.
Christmas Eve is a great time to negotiate a great deal. Don’t bother with the sales associate. Ask to speak to the manager and then make a low-ball offer. Not only will they be so anxious to get rid of their stock that they may take it, but the good feelings of the holiday season could put them in a better and more generous mood. It’s all in the timing!
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are actually two of the slowest days in the restaurant industry. While most everybody else is celebrating with family and friends, the few restaurants that remain open are pretty much a ghost town.
Look for special offers, discounts and coupons that these restaurants will often offer just to get butts in their seats on an otherwise slow time of year. Some places offer two for one deals, buy one get one free, senior and military discounts, special drink offers, and other great deals that can put more money in your pocket for buying presents for your loved ones.
Hotels are also largely vacant during the actual holidays. Yet most hotels won’t close because there are always a few guests who depend on their being open.
If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the holiday season this year – if only for a short time – consider getting a room at one of the upscale hotels or resorts in your area. Not only will you be able to get a great rate, but you essentially will have the entire place to yourself.
Author Bio – Micheal Dillard, the contributor of this article writes occasionally in support of InsanelyCheapFlights, an online website specializing in cheap air tickets, hotels, deals and discounts.