According to AAA, over 98 million Americans traveled more than 50 miles from home during the holidays last year. If you’re one of these avid year-end travelers, you know just how expensive it can get. Here are a few last minute travel tricks that can help you worry less about money and focus more on spending time with your loved ones. 

Travel Tricks

 

  1. If you’re flying out of town, ship your gifts ahead of time. This can save you money on baggage fees.
  2. You can often get cheaper air fare if you fly on the holiday versus the days before. If you’re willing to fly on Christmas Day or New Year’s Eve, the savings may be worth it.
  3. Keep the crowds in mind when you fly and get to the airport extra early. If you have a connecting flight, give yourself enough time to navigate through the airport.
  4. Consider other modes of transportation, like driving or taking a train. Check BeFrugal’s Fly or Drive Calculator to determine which option would be cheaper. If you need to rent a car or stay in a hotel, look for discounts and travel packages.
  5. If you’re traveling local, carpool with nearby family and friends or take an Uber. New Uber users can get an Uber promo code for a free ride (not to mention safe ride) if you’ve had a few holiday cocktails. 

Remember, December 31st is the last day to make any tax-related decisions that may impact your 2015 tax return. So before you take these travel tricks and head out of town, consider some of these year-end tips.

 

Tax Tips

 

  1. Now’s the time to pay tax deductible expenses like property tax and mortgage interest.
  2. ‘Tis the season for giving! If you plan on donating to charity, do so this month to receive a charitable deduction.
  3. If you’re self-employed, buy business equipment and supplies you’ll need in 2016.
  4. Make a contribution to your IRA. You have until April 2016 to make IRA contributions for this year, but the sooner you do this, the better.
  5. Purchase any medical and dental items you need like glasses or contact lenses. If you have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA), spend what you can’t carry into next year on FSA eligible expenses. If you don’t use that money, you’ll lose it. 

Keep up with our tax tips here on the DIY blog. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay in the loop and let us know some of your holiday travel traditions in the comments below.