Passenger rail company Amtrak offers peak travel day discounts, additional lines and timetables to increase passenger capacity during the holidays. Other deals include 50 percent off kids' fares and discounts for eligible students and veterans. "Between cities like Milwaukee, Chicago, St. Louis and D.C., fares can vary from as low as $25 to about $80, which is far less than what you would pay for airfare between those destinations," says Matt Hardison, Amtrak's chief marketing and sales officer.
Drive slower and more carefully. If you are using a car to reach your holiday destination, plan your trip in advance to find the most fuel-efficient route. Utilize resources like the Federal Highway Administration's website to avoid construction and traffic congestion and increase overall gas mileage. Other tools, like AAA's Fuel Cost Calculator app, can track your fuel economy and locate the cheapest gas stations along the way.
[See: 10 Unexpected Costs of Driving.]
Driving the speed limit and storing luggage inside your vehicle will also save you money on gas. Finally, make sure your vehicle is in good condition before hitting the road to increase fuel economy and avoid costly breakdowns. "Give your car a good tune-up before leaving," Frommer says. "Something as simple as making sure you have fully inflated tires can give you better gas mileage."
Pack luggage strategically. If you found a good last-minute airfare deal, keep the savings rolling in by bringing as little luggage with you as possible. "Fit everything into a carry-on bag to avoid baggage fees and time wasted waiting at baggage claim," Kepnes says.
Not sure how to reduce what you pack? "Pack everything you think you need and then cut that amount in half," Kepnes says. "You never need as much as you think you will, and planning for all the what-ifs is expensive."