Summer is winding to a close, but that doesn’t mean people are done traveling. With Labor Day as one of the last holiday gasps on the horizon until the fall and winter holidays, many people take this three-day weekend as the last opportunity to get out and away. According to a survey of 571 adults by the Vacationer, just over 54% of those surveyed said they will be traveling over the Labor Day holiday; 12.08% of people surveyed will be traveling primarily by plane; almost 37% by car and a bit more than 4% will just use public transportation. If this reflects the larger population, there could still be quite a few people out and about when you hit the road. Here are several ways to save on Labor Day travel.
Travel by Train
Booking a flight for this time of year might be cost-prohibitive unless you booked months in advance, as airlines tend to raise prices around peak travel times such as holidays. Instead, consider traveling the old-fashioned way: by train. According to Smarter Travel, a trip by Amtrak could cost you a lot less money if you’re interested in going somewhere within the United States. You will, of course, want to travel coach/economy for the best rates, and discounts are available to seniors, military personnel and children under the age of 12.
Use Gas Apps for Road Trips
If you’re going to do a road trip over this holiday, you’ll want to know where to find the best gas prices. Use an app like Gas Buddy to help you find the lowest price in your area at any given time. And try to avoid being on the road at high traffic hours, which uses more gas, costing you more money, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
Read the Fine Print for Last-Minute Travel
If you are booking a trip at the last minute, be sure you read the fine print so you know the cancellation/refund policies of hotels, rental cars and airlines, according to OneTravel.com; if you have to cancel for any reason, especially close to your trip, you could end up paying full price with no vacation to show for it. With the alarming new variant of coronavirus known as the Delta variant circulating, businesses may be subject to changes and closures at a moment’s notice.
Take the Less Optimal Flights
If you are going to fly over this holiday weekend, the cheapest tickets are likely going to be the “off hours” ones, such as red-eye flights, very early morning flights or flights with several connections, according to Insider. While these may not be the most comfortable flights, you can hack it if the goal is getting to your destination for the best price.
Be Open to Destinations
Particularly if you’re booking a trip last minute, if you can let go of where you thought you would go and be open to where you can get the best deal, you open yourself to a lot of new ideas and the potential for less traveled destinations, according to Insider.
Check Out the Weather
What does weather have to do with saving you money? You’ll want to pay close attention to the types of weather, especially natural disasters, that can ruin a trip, such as wildfires in the west and tornadoes and hurricanes in the south and east, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Keeping an eye on these things can enable you to save money by canceling in advance or rescheduling a trip. However, if you are still going to take a chance and go, the CDC recommends you get informed about what to expect, make a plan in case you should have to evacuate or leave and bring some kind of a travel health kit that includes, among other things first-aid supplies, copies of important documents and emergency contacts.
Check Out Last-Minute Travel Deals
If you haven’t already booked a Labor Day trip and are interested in doing so, many sites offer last-minute travel deals, according to Smarter Travel. These include LastMinute.com, TravelZoo.com, Kayak.com, Groupon and AirFareWatchDog.com.
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Last updated: Sept. 1, 2021