Local expert gives tips on saving money during holiday travels

MIAMI (WSVN) - While travelers are gearing up for the holiday season, a local expert has given advice on how to save money and time during their trips.

There’s no place like home for the holidays, and that busy travel season where everyone goes back home is right around the corner. But traveling during holidays doesn’t have to turn you into the Grinch.

According to Gus Machado of Brickell Travel, with a little planning, travelers can survive any crowded airport or travel delay the season could bring.

Machado dished out some advice on how to save some money.

“The first thing is buying the least expensive seats. Early, early flights, like at 6:30 a.m., or late, late night flights leaving out,” he said. “The good thing about the early morning flights is it’s hard to get up in the morning, but you have a full day in the place.”

Machado also said that late night flights could also have some pros and cons.

“The late flights, you get there late at night but you lose that day, but the good thing is the next morning, you’re well rested and you have a full day.” he said.

When it comes to booking flights that will help cut costs, experts say the sooner, the better.

“I would book as soon as possible to get them confirmed. Sometimes, they will bring the rates up at the end, but I’m thinking this year — we’re what — four or five weeks away from Thanksgiving? I think you’ve waited long enough. I don’t see the prices coming down,” said Machado. “I would start booking this week, or next week the latest, to get your seat confirmed. But make sure you get the seats that you want, the flights that you want and the price that you want.”

If home is right here in South Florida, experts suggest going on a “staycation” for the holidays.

“A lot of people still want to get away, but don’t want to spend obscene amounts of money,” said Machado.

With the Keys back in business after Hurricane Irma, the islands are getting ready for travelers to visit.

“By Thanksgiving and Christmas, I’d probably say 90 percent of the island will be open again.”

But most importantly, Machado says travelers should be prepared for delays.

“Be prepared because of delays now. TSA lines, security is going to be tight. I think security is going to be very tight this Christmas and this Thanksgiving. Just be patient and be happy you’re going on vacation.” he said.

Officials also say to pick non-stop flights when possible to lower the chances of getting delayed.

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