Welcome to NerdWallet’s SmartMoney podcast, where we answer your real-world money questions — in 15 minutes or less.
This week’s question is from Marcia in Los Angeles: “What tips do you have for families traveling during the holidays? It’s already hard to budget for the gifts I buy for my family and friends. My husband and I are both from the East Coast, so the cost of flying across the country with our young children every year leaves us financially wiped out by January. What can we do?”
Traveling with kids? Think about what various perks are worth to you. According to NerdWallet’s 2019 holiday travel report, 44% of families traveling with kids under 18 would choose a hotel for its price over its amenities. Keep in mind that some amenities, such as a free breakfast buffet, could save you more than choosing a no-frills hotel and feeding the kids at a restaurant.
Holiday travel debt is common; know how to manage it. More than 2 in 5 Americans said they would rather go into debt than not see their family during the holidays. If you go this route, know your options to pay off debt.
Consider rescheduling your holidays. If you can move when you celebrate the holidays with your family to another time of the year, you can save hundreds on flights to see them.
How to maximize your rewardsYou want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2019, including those best for:
- Airline miles and a large bonus: The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- No annual fee: The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card
- Flat-rate rewards with no annual fee: The Bank of America® Travel Rewards Visa® credit card
- Premium travel rewards: The Chase Sapphire Reserve®
- Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
- Business travelers: The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card