20 Tips You Need to Know For Holiday Travel

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.

  1. Be prepared for crowded airports and long line-ups. The more you prepare yourself for this fact, the less stress you will likely feel.
  2. Check-in online to reduce the wait time at the airport.
  3. Check different airlines, flight dates, and alternate routes for best price and fastest flight.
  4. Get a direct flight, with no connections, if possible. Connecting flights can be stressful, especially at big airports.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. The holiday travel period is a good time to use those travel points you accumulated.
  11. Make sure to pack any medicine you may need, including sunscreen, medication for diarrhea, headaches, etc.
  12. 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.
  13. Buy gifts at the Duty-Free shop to have more time to enjoy your destination. And also reduce the need for more luggage space.
  14. Take advantage of short-cuts at the airport such self-service ticketing, checking-in, and visa kiosks if available.
  15. Fully charge up your mobile devices.
  16. 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.
  17. Get flight protection. Winter flights can be postponed or canceled if the weather is really bad.
  18. Download your own entertainment that you can enjoy on the flight and your hotel (if there is unexpected inclement weather).
  19. 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.
  20. 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.

Bonus Tip

Enjoy your vacation!


10 Things Not To Do On an Airplane

It’s no secret that travel on an airplane can potentially be stressful, especially if you have connecting flights. However, there are things that you can do, or rather not do, to minimize the stress and even enjoy your flight. Here are the to 10 things not to do on an airplane:

Don’t bare your feet – Planes have very limited space. The sight of bare feet, let alone the smell, is very uncomfortable and inappropriate in such a closed confinement.

Don’t abuse the seat recline – Again, due to limited space if you recline fully you reduce dramatically the space for the passenger behind you. Also, if you recline rapidly you risk hitting the passenger behind if they are not sitting back. If you must recline, then do it slowly and try to avoid fully reclining. The only time a full recline of the seat is warranted is if it is a red eye flight, that is, overnight.

Don’t abuse the overhead compartment – These days the overhead compartment space is very limited due to the number of passengers per flight. Airlines try to fill the flights as much as possible and this means that the overhead compartment space is very limited. If you can fit it below the seat in front of you then don’t put it in the overhead compartment. It will just take away space from someone that will need it. And when you need to use the overhead compartment, then place your item in such a way as to allow more space for other items.

Don’t talk loudly – If you do carry on a conversation then don’t talk so loudly that your neighbors must hear every word. Keep your volume to the minimum and allow others to snooze, watch inflight programming, or just close their eyes. Also if you discipline your child then do not talk at the same level the child is making a noise.

Don’t go to bathroom when food is served – The aisle is very limited in width, just barely enough for the food cart. It would be extremely inconsiderate if you decided to go to the bathroom when food is served and make the flight attendant back up all the way to let you pass. Not only will it inconvenience other passengers but also the flight attendants are on a tight schedule on most flights.

Don’t insist on talking when the other person is not interested – There is nothing wrong with introducing yourself, saying hello, and having a conversation if there is mutual interest. But if the other person is not interested in talking then do not insist on it. Look for obvious signs like the other person is not saying anything in response, is looking at a newspaper or magazine, fidgeting or constantly adjusting their position, looking away, etc.

Don’t make dumb jokes – People are tense enough flying and trying to get to their destination safe. So don’t talk stupid by making jokes like “I think there is something wrong with the wing”, or anything to do with bombs. You may enjoy seeing people freak out but this type of humor does not belong on a plane and may even get you kicked off the plane (remember the movie Meet the Parents?)

Don’t invade the other person’s space – Unless you are in first class then your seat real estate is very limited. As such, respect the other person’s space by not taking over the elbow rest between the two of you. Don’t stretch your legs or open them so wide the person must sit knees-together.

Don’t pray out loud – Praying is fine. But do it silently. Praying out loud can make people very nervous, especially if you include phrases like “please don’t let us crash”. And the non-religious tend to pray out loud only when they think their life is about to end. So imagine what may go through their minds.

Don’t disrespect the flight attendants – Being a flight attendant can be a very stressful job, especially when the plane is full and/or when there are very demanding passengers. A flight attendant may have carry-over stress from the previous flight as well. Calling them names like “Hey, sweet-cheeks…” or “doll” or something demeaning like that can just aggravate the situation. Also by being rude when they bring you the wrong thing or are late getting you something can also make them feel worse. In the last year or two there were at least two cases of flight attendants just losing it on a plane, reported by mainstream news. So don’t provoke things by mistreating the flight attendants.

Don’t hog the aisle – This is especially true when getting on and off the plane. Don’t make the passengers wait unnecessarily when you place your bag in the overhead compartment. When getting off, if you know that it will take you a while to get your things together it is better to let the other passengers pass you by. When you see another passenger behind you is getting their things, thus temporarily halting the line, this is the moment to get your things as well. However, even during the plane trip don’t stick your leg out into the aisle. This is a tripping hazard.

OK, so the list has 11 items or things not to do on a plane. But 10 is just a nice even number that is easy to recall. Hope this list will help to make your next plane trip more enjoyable and smooth.


Flying Like a Pro

The days of luxurious airline travel may be over, but that doesn’t mean travelers must forfeit all comfort once they begin a trip. Having a pre-flight routine is crucial, as is keeping stress levels in check should the unexpected come up. Here are five air travel tips to make a flight not only more comfortable, but easier on the bank account as well.

1. Arrive early. The last thing you want to encounter entering an airport is a long line at check-in, but it’s a reality that is becoming more and more frequent. The wait time at security can sometimes surpass an hour at busy airports, so it is best to arrive at least two hours before a domestic flight, three hours before an international one. Keep a good frame of mind. Remember that a hundred years ago, none of this was possible, and a horse-and-buggy trip was the only means available to travel long distances across open land. Some experienced travelers just accept long waits and show up more than three hours before any flight, with a book in hand and a relaxed state of mind.

2. Bring your own food. By spending 10 minutes preparing your own meal at home, you get to save money and eat what you want. Wrapping the food in aluminum foil works best to keep most things fresh for a few hours. Favorite sandwiches include peanut butter and jelly; bacon, lettuce, and tomato; ham and cheese; and turkey and Swiss. Add some fruit and protein to complete a solid meal. Good options are bananas, apples, oranges, peanuts, almonds, and cashews. The idea is not for it to be a feast, just enough to get you to your destination and avoid the overpriced airport food. Bringing a reusable water bottle also saves time and money; and staying hydrated during a flight is always a good idea.

3. Use the restroom just before boarding. Isn’t it strange how, as soon as the fasten-seat-belt sign has been turned off, at least one person gets up to use the toilet? You can make your flight more comfortable by planning beforehand and using the facilities near the boarding gate. Also, it’s wise not to drink too much water just before departure. Rather, keep a water bottle handy throughout the flight.

4. Have something to do. Use the duration of the flight to unplug. Take out a book or magazine to rest the eyes. Before the flight, write down a few important quotations or something else to study. Then use the time for reflection and deep thought. An hour or two of uninterrupted concentration can do wonders for a stressed-out mind, and flying gives you the perfect opportunity to zone out and do nothing. If you’re eyes need a break, try closing them and listening to music with an mP3 player.

5. Research your destination airport. What’s the best way to get to your hotel? Usually, the most reliable information can be found on the airport’s own website. Every airport has one, with practical advice on public transportation (if available) and taxi services. Some cities, including New York, Chicago, Seattle, and San Francisco, offer such great public transportation connections that cabs may turn out to be a pricey hassle. Know before you go which option works best for you.

Airline fares will always fluctuate, but the way you travel doesn’t have to. Plan before your trip, pack a pre-made meal, arrive early, and do online research about the airport at which you’ll be arriving. After a few trips, these air travel tips can help anyone fly like a pro.


Tips Before Flying

If you are preparing to fly to your next destination or vacation, here are some tips to help you get the most out of your flight and avoid unnecessary headaches.

Check your baggage allowance

There are two types of baggage allowances: checked baggage (stored below the plane) and hand or carry-on baggage (which you take on-board). On regularly scheduled economy flights the checked baggage allowance is usually a single piece of luggage per person at maximum of 23kg or 50lbs. On chartered flights, the allowed weight can be a little lower at 20kg or 44lbs. Some airlines may charge a fee for checked luggage on economy flights, so check the airline’s site. On first and business classes, passengers have more generous baggage allowance.

For hand baggage, you are allowed to take two pieces: one that fits in the overhead compartment and one hand piece such as a purse, briefcase, or small backpack that can fit below the seat. If you are traveling with a large piece of baggage that you want to take on board such as a musical instrument or sporting equipment, then you should check with the airline before hand to see what arrangements need to be made. In most cases you may need to purchase an additional ticket and use a seat to place larger pieces that you don’t want to check in.

Be aware of items restricted in checked and hand baggage

As a general rule, items that are classified as dangerous goods or hazmat (hazardous material) are not permitted in any of your baggage. These items including things that are flammable, corrosive, explosive, radioactive, or poisonous. There may be other restrictions such as:

  • Liquids, aerosols and gels in hand baggage.
  • Number of hand baggage pieces.
  • Some countries (such as Australia, New Zealand, and others) do not allow food to enter their country.
  • On arrival, you will be required to declare any items that are deemed dangerous or restricted to that country. Fines are heavy for failing to declare them so if you are unsure of anything, make sure to declare it.
  • Duty free allowances vary from country to country, so make sure you check these restrictions with the duty free shop or with immigration prior to leaving.

The government transport authority in the country you live have specific guidelines and regulations pertaining to the carriage of dangerous goods/hazmat, so if you are in doubt make sure to consult with this authority.

Minimize baggage problems

  • Tag your baggage with clearly visible tags, labels or straps for easy spotting and identification
  • Label your baggage with your name and contact information. Include the address of your destination so that in case of misdirected luggage, it can be delivered to where you will be needing in. Include your email address and phone number of where you will be staying (if different than your home)
  • Include labels both inside and outside the luggage, in case the outside label gets ripped away.
  • Pack important items such as your eye glasses, laptop, necessary medication in your carry-on luggage.
  • Report any missing luggage immediately to the airline.
  • Keep a list of everything you packed in your luggage.
  • Consult the airline’s luggage policy before you pack.

Top items to take on flights

  1. A neck pillow – Especially important on long flights.
  2. Noise-canceling headphones – These will reduce ambient noise and allow you to enjoy music and movies.
  3. A good book or magazine – The hours will fly more rapidly with a good book or magazine.
  4. Flight socks – Much more comfortable than having shoes on or regular socks and they will keep your feet warm and nice.
  5. Moisturizer and lip balm – Your skin can get quite dry on a flight. Check with your airline what you are allowed to take on board. Most airlines allow travel size liquids.
  6. A phrasebook – On the plane is a good time to brush up on a few phrases in the local language if you are going to a non-English destination.
  7. A toothbrush – Cleaning your teeth mid-flight can make you feel more refreshed and more confident conversing with others.
  8. A change of clothes – If it is a long flight then changing clothes can freshen you up. Also, having more comfortable clothes during the flight can make it easier on your body.
  9. Smartphone, MP3 player, and/or tablet computer – Listen to your own music, watch movies, play games, and more.
  10. A good pen and a cheap pen – You will need a pen to fill out important immigration documents. A cheap pen is to lend to the person beside you that probably will not have one.
  11. A sweater or a blanket – On board air control system can make it feel too cool for comfort.
  12. Snacks

Few Business Travel Tips

A few good business travel tips can help to make a dreaded excursion into a productive, rewarding travel experience. You might think you know everything that will make your trip easier but there might be a few business travel tips that will be new to you.

First, packing is important. If you’re only going to be gone for a couple of days you should pick and choose what you take so that you have only carry-on luggage. You’ll avoid wasted time at baggage claim and can get around much easier and more comfortably. One way to make the most of your space is to roll instead of folding. Rolling your clothing correctly will avoid unwanted wrinkles and creases and you’ll have more space to fit in what you really need.

You don’t have to take several changes of clothing, whether you’re a man or a woman. A neutral business suit with different shirts, scarves, ties, belts, and other accessories will make it look as if you’ve brought an extensive wardrobe. A reversible jacket will enhance the illusion and is a good investment. Take an extra set of underwear in case your trip is delayed and you’ll be surprised how much space you’ll save.

Pack lightly but don’t forego essentials! Call ahead or go online to find out if your lodgings provide clothing steamers, hair dryers or other things you can avoid packing. Take an extra USB drive just in case you need portable storage and don’t forget any medication you might need.

It pays to carry a change of clothing and important documents separately from your main luggage if you can’t make do with just carry-on luggage; if your luggage is lost you can still make a meeting as if nothing was amiss.

Try to sit in the back of the plane if you fly and don’t jump up when the plane lands; stay in your seat and relax. You’ll be standing for a good 10-15 minutes even if you’re near the front while people fuss about and get their carry-on luggage. You may as well use that time productively and avoid the crush.

Your trip should be a lot more relaxed and go more smoothly if you employ these few business travel tips.