How to save $500 on Thanksgiving travel

Sure, Thanksgiving isn’t quite on your radar yet, but that doesn’t stop your mother-in-law from pinging you mashed potato recipes and grilling you about your travel plans. Turns out, she might be onto something. Here, some sneaky ways to act now and save yourself up to $500 in travel expenses:

6 PHOTOS
How to Save $500 on Thanksgiving Travel
See Gallery
How to Save $500 on Thanksgiving Travel

CALL YOUR CREDIT CARD COMPANY BEFORE YOU BOOK: $60 SAVED

Think of it as the very first step anytime you travel: Get on the phone with your credit card company to see what bargains it can offer you up front. For example, Capital One Venture Rewards offers double the miles for every $1 spent, which means you might have airline points racked up that you can apply. Visa, meanwhile, could cover your car rental insurance. Your Platinum Amex gets you a $200 credit toward baggage fees. You get the idea.

RELATED: THE 4 BEST CREDIT CARDS FOR PEOPLE WHO SERIOUSLY LOVE CREDIT CARD POINTS

BOOK YOUR FLIGHT, CAR RENTAL AND HOTEL AS A BUNDLE: $250 SAVED

Sites like Orbitz are much more likely to offer savings if you take care of everything you need at once. Sure, it’s worth cost comparing everything individually, but in most cases the math will add up to a hefty savings to the tune of $250 off—or more.

CONSIDER FLYING HOME ON BLACK FRIDAY: $100 SAVED

Sure, you don’t want to miss out on all the leftovers. But booking a flight home anytime of day on Black Friday—when most of your fellow travelers are still at the mall—can save you tens of dollars' worth of cash. Here’s why: Most people aren’t eager to get up and leave the morning after and—it’s true—they really are at the mall. Less airport congestion = greater savings. (Plus, you get a full weekend to yourself at home.)

USE AN APP TO KEEP TABS ON AIRFARE PRICE FLUCTUATIONS: $80 SAVED

Google Flights and Hopper can help you anticipate airfare fluctuations with up to 95 percent accuracy. They’ll even ping you with a notification about price drops.

PACK AN EMPTY WATER BOTTLE: $10 SAVED

OK, so it’s a small savings hack, but the TSA doesn’t allow liquids and those supersized Smartwater bottles at the airport newsstands don’t come cheap. The work-around: BYO empty water bottle and refill it at the drinking fountain for free. (They’re usually located near the bathrooms.)

RELATED: 8 WAYS TO SAVE BIG ON HOLIDAY TRAVEL

HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

RELATED: 25 DAYS OF HOLIDAY SAVINGS

RELATED: A new addition to one of the best airports in the world 

14 PHOTOS
The world's best airport opens an incredible new terminal
See Gallery
The world's best airport opens an incredible new terminal
An attendee uses a mobile phone in front of the 'Petalclouds' kinetic installation during a media preview of the new Terminal 4 (T4) at Changi Airport in Singapore, on Tuesday, July 25, 2017. The terminal which will open later this year, will feature an array of fast and seamless travel (FAST) technologies to speed people-processing without the need for human supervision, from face-recognition software to automated bag-tagging and checking. Photographer: Nicky Loh/Bloomberg via Getty Images
The departure transit hall is seen during a media preview of the new Terminal 4 (T4) at Changi Airport in Singapore, on Tuesday, July 25, 2017. The terminal which will open later this year, will feature an array of fast and seamless travel (FAST) technologies to speed people-processing without the need for human supervision, from face-recognition software to automated bag-tagging and checking. Photographer: Nicky Loh/Bloomberg via Getty Images
An employee demonstrates the automated luggage check-in system during a media preview of the new Terminal 4 (T4) at Changi Airport in Singapore, on Tuesday, July 25, 2017. The terminal which will open later this year, will feature an array of fast and seamless travel (FAST) technologies to speed people-processing without the need for human supervision, from face-recognition software to automated bag-tagging and checking. Photographer: Nicky Loh/Bloomberg via Getty Images
An automated robotic cleaner travels along the departure hall during a media preview of the new Terminal 4 (T4) at Changi Airport in Singapore, on Tuesday, July 25, 2017. The terminal which will open later this year, will feature an array of fast and seamless travel (FAST) technologies to speed people-processing without the need for human supervision, from face-recognition software to automated bag-tagging and checking. Photographer: Nicky Loh/Bloomberg via Getty Images
The 'Petalclouds' kinetic installation hangs in the Central Galleria area during a media preview of the new Terminal 4 (T4) at Changi Airport in Singapore, on Tuesday, July 25, 2017. The terminal which will open later this year, will feature an array of fast and seamless travel (FAST) technologies to speed people-processing without the need for human supervision, from face-recognition software to automated bag-tagging and checking. Photographer: Nicky Loh/Bloomberg via Getty Images
An attendee tests out the electronic tourist refund automated system during a media preview of the new Terminal 4 (T4) at Changi Airport in Singapore, on Tuesday, July 25, 2017. The terminal which will open later this year, will feature an array of fast and seamless travel (FAST) technologies to speed people-processing without the need for human supervision, from face-recognition software to automated bag-tagging and checking. Photographer: Nicky Loh/Bloomberg via Getty Images
The 'Immersive Wall' LED panel displays visuals at the security screening area during a media preview of the new Terminal 4 (T4) at Changi Airport in Singapore, on Tuesday, July 25, 2017. The terminal which will open later this year, will feature an array of fast and seamless travel (FAST) technologies to speed people-processing without the need for human supervision, from face-recognition software to automated bag-tagging and checking. Photographer: Nicky Loh/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Traditional Singaporean Peranakan houses are mocked up as part of an interior display in the Heritage Zone during a media preview of the new Terminal 4 (T4) at Changi Airport in Singapore, on Tuesday, July 25, 2017. The terminal which will open later this year, will feature an array of fast and seamless travel (FAST) technologies to speed people-processing without the need for human supervision, from face-recognition software to automated bag-tagging and checking. Photographer: Nicky Loh/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A worker tends to wall-hanging plants on the facade of Changi Airport's newly-built Terminal 4 in Singapore on July 25, 2017. Singapore's Changi Airport on July 25 held a media preview of its fourth terminal, which will open at a yet to be announced date later this year. The terminal, which relies heavily on automation and self-service machines, will be able to handle some 16 million passengers a year. / AFP PHOTO / ROSLAN RAHMAN (Photo credit should read ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
An airport employee demonstrates the use of an automated immigration gate during a media preview at the departure hall of Changi Airport's newly-built Terminal 4 in Singapore on July 25, 2017. Singapore's Changi Airport on July 25 held a media preview of its fourth terminal, which will open at a yet to be announced date later this year. The terminal, which relies heavily on automation and self-service machines, will be able to handle some 16 million passengers a year. / AFP PHOTO / ROSLAN RAHMAN (Photo credit should read ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
A cleaner sweeps in the departure hall during a media preview of the new Terminal 4 (T4) at Changi Airport in Singapore, on Tuesday, July 25, 2017. The terminal, which is scheduled to open later this year, will feature an array of 'fast and seamless travel' (FAST) technologies to speed people-processing without the need for human supervision, from face-recognition software to automated bag-tagging and checking. Photographer: Nicky Loh/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Traditional Singaporean Peranakan building facades adorn a wall in the Heritage Zone during a media preview of the new Terminal 4 (T4) at Changi Airport in Singapore, on Tuesday, July 25, 2017. The terminal, which is scheduled to open later this year, will feature an array of 'fast and seamless travel' (FAST) technologies to speed people-processing without the need for human supervision, from face-recognition software to automated bag-tagging and checking. Photographer: Nicky Loh/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A sculpture piece titled 'Travelling Family' by Kurt Metzier stands in the departure transit area during a media preview of the new Terminal 4 (T4) at Changi Airport in Singapore, on Tuesday, July 25, 2017. The terminal, which is scheduled to open later this year, will feature an array of 'fast and seamless travel' (FAST) technologies to speed people-processing without the need for human supervision, from face-recognition software to automated bag-tagging and checking. Photographer: Nicky Loh/Bloomberg via Getty Images
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Read Full Story

Sign up for the Travel Report by AOL newsletter to get exclusive deals and wanderlust inspiration delivered straight to your inbox every day.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.