5 tips for joyful holiday travel

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Are you planning to visit grandma for Thanksgiving, heading home for the winter break, or dreaming of defrosting your feet on a warm beach? If so, now is the time to plan your vacation and book your reservations. AAA Travel just announced that Sept. 25 – Oct. 27 is the best time to get reasonable fares on Thanksgiving and Christmas airfares. Even dreaded holiday travel can be joyful if you follow these five travel tips.

1.Determine your budget

While dreaming of your next getaway, stay realistic when it comes to your finances. Your budget will guide you when it comes to choosing your destination. Planning in advance works in your favor because many hotels, car rentals, and travel agents can help you take advantage early-bird attraction offers. List the attractions you’d like to visit, then check their websites and social media channels for admission prices, discounted multiple-attraction rates, and when they’re open.

2.Pick your destination

Are you looking to get away from it all and dive into the ocean or some fresh pow? Cancun, Mexico, is ripe for beach-going, scuba diving, and lush jungle hikes; while Finland offers a picturesque winter wonderland full of ski resorts in December.

Are you looking to join or avoid crowds? Many European countries, such as Germany, Spain, and Sweden, showcase Christmas markets throughout the month. Other popular destinations like the Louvre in Paris will have much shorter lines. Lastly, think of your destination in the context of who is traveling with you. Is it a solo trip, couples vacation, or fun for the whole family? Get inspired by the AAA top destinations for this year’s holiday travelers.

3.Reserve your activities

Once you’ve decided on where and when now the nitty-gritty begins. Make hotel and rental car reservations ahead of time to ensure you have a place to sleep and a way to get there. Plus, early bookings are typically less expensive. From your “must-do” list, book your tickets to take advantage of availability and advance pricing. Sacrificing some spontaneity for the top items on your list to avoid long lines and save money may be worth it, especially if you’re making reservations for the whole family or a large group.

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