This is a sponsored guest post.
If you have family all over the country, travel is probably every bit of your Thanksgiving tradition as the turkey and pumpkin pie. But it’s not always easy getting to the big feast — even if it’s within state lines.
It’s not bathroom breaks or tantrums that threaten to ground your plans, but your budget. Travel at any time of the year can be expensive, and Thanksgiving notches up the price even higher.
If you’re wondering how you and your family will complete your annual pilgrimage to a distant relative’s home, check out these tips to help you budget better.
Don’t Pack Your Line of Credit
Renting a car big enough to fit everyone or buying airfare for the entire family adds up. By the end of the weekend, your travel plans can cost a small fortune.
Organizing your finances around this huge price tag will likely take a lot of hard work and sacrifice. By comparison, tapping into your personal line of credit may seem like an easier option.
But is a personal line of credit a good idea? It depends.
A personal line of credit is best used for unexpected emergency expenses that you can’t avoid. You may get a personal line of credit quickly to help cover unavoidable and unanticipated car repairs or medical bills. Planned travel costs, on the other hand, don’t meet this definition of unexpected emergencies.
Drop Unnecessary Baggage from Your Budget
So how will you cover the travel price tag without tying up your personal line of credit limit? Your household budget may have the answers.
Take some time tracking your expenses to see how you spend your money in a typical month. While you’ll want to include everything — from mortgage and car loan payments — you’ll want to keep a special eye on smaller purchases.
Little things tend to have a big impact on the average family’s budget. And because they’re so small, they’re easy to forget until you sit down with your budget.
Things like picking up a fast food dinner when you’re too exhausted to cook dinner or buying toys when it isn’t a birthday or special holiday takes cash away from your Thanksgiving travel.
The earlier you cut out these expenses from your budget, the longer you’ll have to save, so don’t put off this trick until the last second.
Plan Your Takeoff Carefully
Move over, Tuesday. Your time as the best day to purchase flights is over. Now Sunday saves you up to 20 percent on tickets. If you manage to book 21 days or more before takeoff, you could save even more.
The day you leave also plays a big part in the price tag you pay. Last year, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving was the busiest flying day of the holiday.
If you can organize your trip so that you miss it, you might be able to side-step some of the costs that come with flying.
If Thanksgiving means traveling to friends and family, try not to stress out. These tips will help keep your budget intact as you take the skies or hit the roads this November. And remember them the next time you plan to take your kids on another adventure. Although simple, they can help you save all year round.