Winter 2012 Travel Plans

Last night Kyle and I booked our Christmas flights!  Against my wishes, we have fallen into an every-other-year visitation pattern with our parents regarding Christmas, and this is a California year.  I’ve been checking prices for about six weeks and the prices were far higher than I expected.  I always strive to buy cross-country flights for around $400 but they were around $550-600.


Finally last night we were able to score flights for under $400 by being flexible to:

  • fly midweek and midweek
  • shift our vacation a few days earlier in December than we would have liked
  • fly out of DC instead of Raleigh/Durham


Since we’re flying out of DC we’ll get a bit of a bonus visit with my parents when we return from CA!  We are also spending Thanksgiving with my parents – we always spend Thanksgiving with the parents who live on the same coast as us.  And we’ll probably be back in Durham for New Years so we can get back to work.


So those are our travel plans – northern Virginia for Thanksgiving and southern California for Christmas, all for the low low price of $625.20 plus approximately three tanks of gasI’m so relieved that we had enough in our Travel and Personal Gifts savings account to cover these flights – I was afraid we were going to have to dip into our general savings account.  Now we even have enough left over to pay for gifts – what a relief!


What are your travel/holiday/celebratory plans for November, December, and January?  Are you spending more or less than you expected on travel?  How is your savings for gifts coming?


photo from Free Digital Photos

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11 Responses to "Winter 2012 Travel Plans"

  1. Emily too says:

    That’s really not bad! We’re spending Thanksgiving with local friends because our families are just too far for such a short break, so for Christmas we’re driving to my parents’ a few days before and his parents’ midday on Christmas itself for a total of about 19 hours in the car (unless we hit traffic on the way home, which we ALWAYS do) and probably something like $250-275 in gas and tolls.

    1. Emily says:

      I never know which is worse – having the physical ability to see both families on holidays or the distance just being too much. The first is exhausting and with the second you feel like you’re missing out. I suppose we could fly on Christmas (now that would be cheap!) but we’ve never considered it. Seeing two long-distance families for under $300 is really good!

  2. Jon says:

    $400 for a cross country flight! That is pretty good!

    I had to buy a last minute flight for business purposes for $2500 and then cancel at the last minute. It still pained me even though it wasn’t my money.
    Jon recently posted..8 Student Loan Articles To Help Reduce Your Loan Burden

    1. Emily says:

      That would pain me, too. Waste is waste. My MIL offered to pay for us to fly into a different airport because it’s more accessible to them but it would have bumped the price by $400! I couldn’t see money go to waste like that when ground transportation is so much cheaper.

  3. SWR says:

    Not bad! We’re actually taking the train for a 20+ hour ride. Luckily it’s overnight. It’s too risky to drive in the winter, considering all of the snow that we could possibly encounter. For the two of us it will be between $400 and $450. We’re actually doing our longer traveling over New Year’s.

    For Christmas, we’ll be with my family, and that’s nothing more than a few tanks of gas. We feel more comfortable planning on driving that, because we can also hop on a bus with (relative) ease at the last minute.
    SWR recently posted..Our debt story, part 2: The post-college years

    1. Emily says:

      Wow, that’s a long trip! I suppose trains are probably the most reliable mode of transport but I’ve only taken one once. Sounds like you’ll be getting through the holidays without a huge financial expenditure, too.

  4. Alice says:

    I was actually just able to book a flight to CA for $360! I was beyond thrilled. It’s not for the holidays, but it was cheaper than I was expecting to find 🙂

    1. Emily says:

      Good one! $400 is my “definitely buy it” line anytime of year.

  5. […] Katie G. from Talking Cents lists several strategies for spending less money on holiday travel – a few of which we used when booking our Christmas flights. […]

  6. […] month we have used our targeted savings accounts to purchase our Christmas flights ($625.20), six months of car insurance ($405.47), and other miscellaneous items ($149.85).  All of that was […]

  7. […] and I flew to California this week for our Christmas vacation!  We had two normal days at work, then drove to northern Virginia on Tuesday evening and flew out […]

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