We all know that traveling during the holiday season is not only stressful, but it can also cost a small fortune. Travel-based businesses like airlines and car services such as Lyft and Uber tend to take advantage of “supply and demand” during this busy time of year and raise prices. If you need to travel this year for the holidays, don’t worry that it’ll cost an arm and a leg. Just read our guide to avoiding the holiday surge pricing so you can stay within budget this Christmas!
1.) Drive yourself
One great way to avoid price surges is to steer clear of even using services that may gouge you. Instead of flying, could you possibly drive to your destination? Instead of getting an Uber to the airport and paying twice what you normally would, why not drive yourself? Considering that Uber’s “surge pricing” can sometimes double the cost of your ride, it’s possible that you’d even save money by driving yourself and booking airport parking through a reputable company instead of catching a ride with a stranger with an arrival time that may be delayed due to traffic.
2.) Bundle your expenses
If you need to stay on budget, there is no better way to do that than to plan everything out in advance. If you’re flying out for the holidays, research packages that include hotels, flights, and parking so that there are no financial surprises when you’re ready to leave.
3.) Try a different time/location
Uber and Lyft are smart and they know where the majority of customers are, so they raise prices in that area. But, these rates are dynamic and will change due to a variety of circumstances. In some cases, if you simply walk across the street to a restaurant or a hotel, your fare will be significantly cheaper than scheduling your pick-up from the airport. The same holds true for just waiting a little while. Sometimes the rate can drop by over 40% in just a span of ten minutes, so it may be worth it to sit tight if you aren’t in a rush. But again, if you are looking to avoid a time crunch reference option 1 and 2.
4.) Compare pricing
Uber’s surge pricing is vastly different than Lyft’s, so if you find that one car service is gouging you, be a smart consumer and check the rates on the other app to see if you can save yourself some extra money. If you’re in a serious rush, Lyft enacts a cap on its rates during peak times, so check them first.