How to Save on a Visit to Relatives on Thanksgiving
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How to Save on a Visit to Relatives on Thanksgiving

Posted on Friday, October 18th, 2013 at 7:00 am
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Travel can be very expensive. Here are some tips that might make it possible for you to see your family on Thanksgiving.Thanksgiving is one of the holidays that many people want to spend with their family. What if your family lives far away? The expense of travel might be more than your budget can handle. However, there are some frugal ways to visit with relatives on Thanksgiving. Try some of these ideas.

Frugal Ways to Visit Relatives for Thanksgiving

Traveling by Plane
The best time to buy airline tickets is in September. The price drops in between the summer vacation travel season and the busy months of holiday travel. If you planned ahead and bought airline tickets last month, now is a good time to make sure you haven’t lost track of them.

What if you don’t have your plane tickets yet? Contact a travel agent and see if any of the September deals are still running. The price is going to increase as we get closer to Thanksgiving. You may be able to save some money if you buy the tickets now, in the middle of October, than if you wait until November. Or, call the airline and see if you can use your points or miles to get a discount.

Traveling by Train
Amtrak has plenty of deals on train tickets right now. Visit their website and click on their interactive map of the United States. It will show you what deals are available in that area.

The Amtrak website has a “Kids Ride 50% Off” deal. Students can travel for 15% off the regular price. Military personnel and families save 10% at Amtrak. It looks like you can get a good deal if you make your purchase now (instead of days before Thanksgiving).

Driving there Yourself
Thinking about driving yourself to your parent’s house this Thanksgiving? Do they live really far away? You might want to take a moment and figure out how much that trip will cost you in gas. It is possible that a train ticket would be less expensive.

Some people may be able to “carpool” and cut down on the cost of gas. Maybe you, and several other family members, can take a “road trip” to your grandparent’s house for Thanksgiving. Everyone can chip in for gas.

Traveling by Internet
If all else fails, you can always get online to connect with family members. Use Skype to call your relatives. It is kind of like a phone call, but better, because it includes video. Mac users can also use FaceTime the same way. Both Skype and FaceTime are free to use (even for a long distance call).

You could call your family on Thanksgiving day from the comfort of your own computer. This might be the least stressful way to “travel” this year. It is a good way to stay connected, and be able to distance yourself from dysfunctional family members, at the same time.

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Good Tip: Saving money is important – especially if you have a lot of expenses like bills to pay, loans to pay off, and all the other things that drain your bank account. Figuring out a way to save money can feel tedious to some, and like a punishment to others. U.S. News suggests that you try one of these money saving challenges. The “No Eating Out for a Month” Challenge This one is self-explanatory. The goal is to avoid eating out for an entire month. This might be super easy for people who enjoy making meals at home. People who really enjoy dining out, or ordering food to be sent to their home, may struggle with this one. It’s worth a try because spending money on take-out is more expensive than buying groceries. The Pantry Challenge This one is a variation of the “No Eating Out for a Month” challenge. The goal is to use up all of your groceries before you buy more. It forces you to try and remember why you bought a food or beverage that you don’t know what to do with, and gives you the opportunity to find a way to use it. The one exemption to this challenge is the foods that have expired. Don’t eat them! Throw them in the trash. The “No Spend” Challenge Make a goal to avoid spending money during an entire weekend. The only exemption in this challenge is that you are allowed to pay bills. This challenge is interesting because it requires creativity. You must be creative and find workarounds for problems that you would typically solve by spending money. You may have a different outlook on spending after finishing this challenge.