Preparing For Holiday Travel
The holiday season is upon us which means long lines at the airport and potential delays. Traveling over the holidays is notoriously busy, expensive, and extremely stressful for you and your family, but traveling over the holidays doesn’t have to be all bad.
Check out these tips to keep your travel plans joyous this holiday season:
- Avoid planning your trip over peak travel dates.
The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is a day you should avoid traveling on. If you can, travel on Thanksgiving. This day is often a lot less busy and way more affordable. If you can avoid flying home on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, you’ll likely pay less. As for Christmas and New Year’s, the peak days change from year to year depending on what day the holiday falls on. You can generally guess which days will be more expensive. Most people want to maximize long weekends without taking many days off work, so avoid what everyone else is doing.
- Shop around for the best deals.
Comparison shopping on travel sites has never been easier. Casting your search net as wide as possible will help you understand all of your travel options. Price isn’t the only thing that people look at during the holidays season. Travelers also look at hotels and if it would be easier to travel from different airports.
- Know your airport options.
Checking alternate airports is a common tactic among travelers, but it can actually make a big difference during the holiday season. Trying alternate airports can save you time and money. Keep in mind that smaller airports see fewer flights but they also see fewer delays during the holiday season. If you are looking for a smaller airport, here is a list of the best small airports in the U.S.
- Plan your connections carefully.
When you are booking your flights, check your results for sufficient time between layovers to get from gate to gate and factor in time for flight delays and weather issues. Especially during the winter months, peak travel times can cause delays to and from the airport, jeopardizing your connection. Avoiding really tight flight connections might save you a sprint through the airport and a missed flight. Check out this article for more tips on winter travel.
- Leave yourself some time.
During peak travel days, you’ll spend a majority of your time standing in line for TSA, traffic and waiting for airport shuttles. Not only do you want to get to the airport early, but you might want to start making your journey to the airport earlier to avoid any delays you might run into. Since peak travel times are usually during the winter months, you should be prepared for things such as snow, icy roads, and plow trucks.
- Pack wisely and efficiently.
The new rules about liquids and gels in your carry-on make packing just a little bit tricky. The rules are: you can bring liquids and gels in 3.4-ounce or smaller containers, packed in a single, quart-size, zip-top, clear plastic bag. If you want to bring anything more than 3.4-ounce amount, you’ll have to pack them in your checked luggage. Keep in mind that most airlines are charging fees for travelers to check their bags. When traveling, packing light is always the way to go.
- Travel early or late in the day.
Airports aren’t as busy at times when people would rather be sleeping or at home. Delays are less likely on morning flights and airports are less congested in the evening hours.
- Consider purchasing a package deal.
The holidays can be the best times to buy package deals such as air/hotel or air/hotel/car. These package deals are so affordable, you can’t afford to pass them up.
With these tips, you might actually get to enjoy traveling this holiday season. If you haven’t already, sign up for text messages from Civil Dispatch to get alerts about severe weather and delays in your area.