Planning a Thanksgiving visit to Grandma’s or spend Christmas in Rome? Traveling on holiday can be notoriously busy, costly and exhausting, but it’s not just bad news. Deals are still to be found if you carefully shop and prepare ahead. Check out these tips on holiday travel and find some fun this holiday season.
Prepare yourself. Accept it. Embrace
Join the holiday travel season with the expectation that it will be stressful, and probably full of problems.
Understand that is the case and prefer instead to fly happily. It puts you in a much better place to handle the delays and the queues.
You are dressed for that already. And every you get a good surprise and don’t have the worst case scenario.
Breathe deeply and use the long lines as an excuse to catch up on your phone’s texts, or exchange stories with the strangers around you— helping them feel relaxed at the same time — make it part of the trip.
Try to actual holiday travel
One of the busiest days of the year for holiday travel by air is the day before Thanksgiving and this year is predicted to be especially bad. If they head out on Wednesday, drivers will face a similar situation if Google’s review of last Thanksgiving’s road conditions is anything to go by. Despite these purposes, flying several days before the holiday or on the holiday itself is often prudent where possible. The latter situation is definitely less than optimal, but the flights are cheaper, and the crowds are smaller. And because Thanksgiving is such an infamous day to get your journey underway, you may even be upgraded to first class.
Plot connections carefully
While booking flights, check your search results carefully during layovers for sufficient time, and plan in time for flight delays and weather woes. In the winter months in particular, peak travel times also cause travel delays and your connections are more likely to be compromised. Eviting near connections could save you a sprint through the terminal or, worse, a missed flight.
If it’s not an option to fly day-of, here are a couple more fly tips: consider booking a flight early in the morning or late in the evening. Morning fliers prefer to enjoy less delays but if you wait for the evening to fly out, you’ll avoid the crowds.
It’s also better to maneuver the flight path into location such that flights are less likely to face delays in places— specifically, airports in warmer climates.
Reserve Airport Parking
Book airport parking in advance to secure a location and often you can get good offers online.
Nevertheless, please run the calculations to see if parking your car is cheaper for you, or just catch a Uber at the airport. OR find a friend to help you drive.
Avoid Airline counters if you can
The new innovations in self-service online travel can be enormous time-saving during peak travel times. Print your boarding passes at home, or pull them on your mobile whenever possible. Consider applying for trusted traveler programs such as Global Entry or TSA PreCheck which will allow you to bypass the usual lines of security.
When you buy most of your gifts online, send them straight to your destination. This will reduce luggage and the chance that they would get lost. (If you want to pack your presents, do not package them; if they need to check them for some reason, TSA agents can tear them open).
Unless you’re just going to be out of town for a few days, there’s no need for lugging in a 60-pound suitcase. The lighter your luggage, the better you’ll feel— and neither do you have to think about unnecessary baggage fees. We understand, however, that light packing can be difficult. If you’re struggling to zip off your luggage, try setting it up before going to the airport. Remove from your bag the heaviest and bulkiest clothing pieces (think boots, wool coats, and large sweaters), and then wear them. When you get through airport security you can always remove them and place them in the overhead bin of the plane.
Carry an empty water bottle
When you have a long flight ahead, it’s important to stay hydrated, as drinking plenty of fluids will help stave off jet lag. Yet why spend $4 at the airport for a bottle of water when you can bring your own reusable bottle and fill it up at a water fountain near your gate for free? Only make sure that it starts empty before you move through airport security— you wouldn’t want your fellow passengers to hold the line up and get side-eyes.
A few other travel tips for packing your bag or carry-on: bring a phone charger, toothbrush, other must-have toiletries, glasses and contacts, medicines, an extra pair of underwear, headphones or earplugs, hand sanitizer, and wet wipes (after all, those airport safety bins are cesspools infested with germs).
Take picture your suitcase
When you need to check a luggage, take a picture of your suitcase before handing it over to the airline. This way, if it gets misplaced, you’re not going to have to rack your brain trying to remember whether it’s black or navy blue when explaining its appearance to airline workers. If your suitcase is very unwritten, try wrapping a bright ribbon around the handle to make it stand out. It will come in handy when you go from the luggage carousel to grab your suitcase.
Be phone ready
Make sure that your phone is charged, and that all relevant phone numbers, routes and applications are installed.
We love the version of the Tripit App Pro. It imports all bookings and itineraries automatically from my email into the app.
It lets me know about any changes or delays in flight and tells me which gate I’m arriving and leaving–super convenient if I have to do the crazy rush for my connecting flight.
Rent an apartment with a bunch of friends or family in a nearby destination and maybe have a more accessible and comfortable experience closer to home.
(source: mentalfloss.com, ytravelblog.com, and smartertravel.com)