Planes, Trains and Automobiles: 10 Ways to Travel Cheap this Holiday Season

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Planes, Trains and Automobiles: 10 Ways to Travel Cheap this Holiday Season

With the holidays upon us, finding holiday travel deals that won't put you in the poorhouse is both a necessity and a challenge. Considering that HomeAway is reporting 44 percent of travelers will fly and 54 percent will drive to their holiday destination, most holiday travelers are hoping for cheap airline tickets and cheap gas prices. Over the Thanksgiving holiday, the AAA predicted that 42.5 million Americans would travel -- four percent more than last year, which could be an indication of how the rest of the holiday travel season will shape up. If you're one of those millions planning holiday travel either by plane or car, here are some cheap travel tips for you:

1. Look for holiday deals on cheap airline tickets from sites such as Orbitz.com and Bing Travel, which both offer deals daily. Also check for cheap Greyhound bus or Amtrak tickets on their respective sites, where deals and discounts appear regularly.

2. Compare prices on sites such as AirfareComparison.org and FareCompare.com to ensure you're getting the cheapest airfare.

3. Buy cheap airline tickets when you find them -- don't wait for better prices because they're unlikely to drop. The more flights fill up, the higher the prices will go.

4. Get a ride from a friend to and from the airport, Greyhound bus station, or Amtrak station to avoid paying parking or cab fees.

5. Get the cheapest airfare by traveling at off times. Kiplinger.com suggests Christmas Eve or Christmas Day to avoid the most popular travel times and highest costs. Better yet, celebrate the holiday a week or two after the fact to avoid higher holiday travel costs.

6. Cash in on reward programs for frequent fliers during your holiday travel to get discounted flights as well as discounts on hotels, gas cards, rental cars, and more.

7. Join the 45 percent of air travelers that HomeAway says is shipping their gifts this season instead of packing them to save on checked baggage fees.

8. Get cheap rental car fees by using any memberships you may have, such as Costco or AAA.

9. Pack water, snacks, and entertainment to avoid splurging on these necessities while on the road.

10. Pay cheaper gas prices by using smartphone travel apps such as GasBuddy.com to help you identify the cheapest places to fill up along the way.

Remember, the holidays are all about spending time with your loved ones. If you have to sacrifice buying gifts in order to afford holiday travel, don't sweat it -- your presence and the effort you made to be together will be the best gift of all.