How to Shop Smartly and Plan for the Holidays This Season

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(BPT) - The holiday season is quickly approaching and the masses are busy building shopping lists and planning their family celebrations and travel schedules. Last year, consumers learned to shop smart and early while dealing with supply chain disruptions and delivery delays nationwide. The shopping season will once again require some adaptation with inflation pushing prices upward. As shoppers strive to discover that perfect, one-of-a-kind gift for those on their list, there are still discounts to be found and savings for shopping, traveling, delivery options and staying in touch with those who matter most. If you’re an AARP member, you have access to a range of deals on products and services to take advantage of this holiday season.

“With increasing prices due to inflation, it’s wise to start making your shopping list early and compare prices among retailers,” said Trae Bodge, Money-Saving Expert at truetrae.com. “Smart holiday shoppers are taking advantage of the best deals and discounts, including benefits available to AARP members, which can offer additional savings on holiday gifts and shipping fees.”

Here are four hacks to help you discover some smart savings for the holiday season.

1. Stock up. One sure way to cause unnecessary stress around the gift giving season is to realize you’re out of wrapping paper just before a holiday gathering. Stock up early on wrapping paper, stocking stuffers, gift cards and more at Walgreens, and when you link your AARP and myWalgreens® memberships you can earn additional benefits on your purchase. You can earn 10% Walgreens Cash rewards on Walgreens branded health and wellness products, 7% Walgreens Cash rewards on Walgreens branded beauty products and 3% Walgreens Cash rewards on other eligible beauty purchases. Exclusions and restrictions apply. Walgreens truly can be your one-stop-shop for those easily overlooked essentials.

2. Travel smartly. If you’re planning to travel to visit out-of-town friends and family for the seasonal gatherings and need a larger vehicle to accommodate a road trip, consider renting a car from Budget. This doesn’t just make your drive more spacious, but you can avoid putting additional miles on your personal vehicle. Not only will your car thank you for less wear and tear, but your wallet will too. AARP members can save up to 30% off base rates and receive a 3% credit to apply to rentals within 12 months. Plus, you get an upgrade on compact through full-size car class bookings (based on availability), an additional driver at no cost and more.

As you prepare to hit the road, fill your tank and pick up some snacks at an Exxon™ or Mobil™ station. When you link your Exxon Mobil Rewards+™ account to your AARP membership, you earn extra points every day on the things you already buy, like fuel, car washes and convenience store items, and 2x the points on fuel on member days. AARP members who are new to the Exxon Mobil Rewards+™ program will also receive a 500-point bonus ($5 in savings) after their first fill-up to redeem toward fuel or convenience store items. Every 100 points you earn is the equivalent of $1 in savings on eligible purchases.

3. Sleep soundly. With extended family traveling in for gatherings, the house may get a bit overcrowded. If you’re someone who needs a quiet space to unwind and recover from the festivities but budget conscious, look no further than the AARP Travel Center Powered by Expedia. AARP members get a $50 Visa prepaid card when they book a flight + hotel, flight + car, or flight + hotel + car vacation package. Members always save on hotel stays and get an extra 10% off at Wyndham Hotels & Resorts when booking online or by phone through the AARP Travel Center Powered by Expedia.

4. Connect with loved ones. If you’re unable to travel to see friends and family for the holiday, there are many ways you can spread cheer and feel connected. Package up your gifts and holiday treats early with UPS Store® Shipping Services. Pro tip: if you are traveling for gatherings but need to save space in your luggage, ship the gifts ahead of time so it’s there when you arrive. AARP members save 5% off domestic and international UPS shipping services, plus 15% off eligible products and services.

Another holiday savings hack to stay connected is to jump onboard with Consumer Cellular. AARP members can always save 5% on monthly service and usage charges and 30% on accessories. And for a limited time, get unlimited talk, text, and data for two lines for just $55/month with code AARP55*. Plans require no contract and include free activation and an extended risk-free guarantee. This isn’t just a great way to see grandkids and share a virtual hot cup of cocoa together, but it’s also an excellent gift idea if you have a parent or grandparent looking for a new phone service. To access these savings, visit Target stores and have your AARP membership number or card handy.

The holiday season is just around the corner, but with some smart shopping and advance planning you can save in unexpected ways. Check out aarp.org/holiday to view more benefits available to AARP members.

AARP member benefits are provided by third parties. AARP receives a royalty fee for the use of its intellectual property. These fees are used for the general purposes of AARP. Provider offers are subject to change and may have restrictions.

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