How to Save Big When You Travel Over the Holidays

These money-saving tips are just in time for your holiday travel.

— -- Mike and Stacey Folis have always loved to travel, but now with two children their priorities have realigned.

Enter travel expert Brian Kelly with some tips:

Have flexible travel dates. If you can leave on Tuesday or Saturday, you’ll save 20 percent or more on your trip, he said.

"It’s not a travel agency, they’re not trying to sell you hotel packages and everything else. It's really just a matrix of all the airline fares," he said.

Although the Folises find some savings there, Kelly has another suggestion for them: Search directly. He says Southwest doesn't show upon any of the online travel agencies or even Google Flights.

The Folises take his advice and hit the jackpot. By traveling on a Tuesday they can find a roundtrip fare for $192 per ticket, including two free checked bags and two free carry-ons.

Kelly also said Southwest has no cancellation fees.

"If you had to scrap the ticket Southwest would give you the entire amount of these tickets back into a travel bank that you could use at a different time, so in terms of saving money I think that one is a no-brainer," he said.

Membership can offer discounts. Once you're on the ground, you can often get lower rates on hotels and rental cars through memberships with discount warehouses and AAA. You can even get them through AARP.

"I'm 32 years old and I'm a member because they can't discriminate based on age," Kelly said.

That tip puts $100 back into the Folises' pockets.