It is nice to get away for the holidays, especially to warm climates. However, it can be very stressful since everyone else has the same idea and everyone flocks to the airport at the same time. Here are 20 tips that we feel you need to know for holiday travel.
- Be prepared for crowded airports and long line-ups. The more you prepare yourself for this fact, the less stress you will likely feel.
- Check-in online to reduce the wait time at the airport.
- Check different airlines, flight dates, and alternate routes for best price and fastest flight.
- Get a direct flight, with no connections, if possible. Connecting flights can be stressful, especially at big airports.
- Sometimes you can get a better price if you buy one-way ticket to and from your destination. But this requires more preparation and price hunting.
- Look for package deals that include air/hotel or air/hotel/car. There is a lot competition for vacation travelers during the holidays so you may find a great deal.
- Cheapest flights are either early morning or red-eye (overnight) as most people prefer to be asleep during those hours. But flying at those times will mean you also will get an extra day, or most of a day, to enjoy your destination.
- Make sure to leave for the airport with plenty of time as security checks are longer than usual and you may miss your flight as a result.
- Traveling on Christmas/Christmas Eve or New Year’s/New Year’s Eve Days can have less travelers than other days around the holidays as most people are busy celebrating.
- The holiday travel period is a good time to use those travel points you accumulated.
- Make sure to pack any medicine you may need, including sunscreen, medication for diarrhea, headaches, etc.
- If you can get away with packing everything in carry-on luggage you will move quicker through the airport since you can skip the check-in and luggage pickup. This means you can start your vacation faster.
- Buy gifts at the Duty-Free shop to have more time to enjoy your destination. And also reduce the need for more luggage space.
- Take advantage of short-cuts at the airport such self-service ticketing, checking-in, and visa kiosks if available.
- Fully charge up your mobile devices.
- Make sure you know your roaming costs. Smartphones are constantly checking the Internet and if you are not connected to WiFi you can get a very expensive surprise when you get back home.
- Get flight protection. Winter flights can be postponed or canceled if the weather is really bad.
- Download your own entertainment that you can enjoy on the flight and your hotel (if there is unexpected inclement weather).
- Take a snack and water with you to the airport to avoid the expensive food and drink sold at airports. Take just enough to finish before you go through security. Being hungry or thirsty can make you more tense and irritable.
- Install travel apps on your phone, especially one from the airline you will be traveling to get updates. Make sure the airline has your email address so they can send you updates specific to your flight.
Enjoy your vacation!