With the busy holiday travel season upon us, it’s good to know some smart travel tips to ensure your holiday vacay is merry. Here are 8 tips to help you avoid the frustration of holiday travel.
Do Not Wrap Your Gifts Before A Flight
Many airlines highly suggest that you do not wrap gifts before heading to the airport. With the heightened security around holiday travel, airport security may unwrap items in checked or carry-on baggage, causing delays. Buy wrapping paper at your destination and make a fun day of it.
Make Sure Your Pets Are Clear For Takeoff
Many carriers do not accept kennels as checked baggage or as cargo between certain dates around December and January. While certain small animals may be able to travel with you in the cabin, check with your airline about their pet policy over the holidays.
Arrive Extra Early
Because the winter holiday months are such a busy time of year for travel, prepare for excessively large crowds at the airport. Many carriers suggest arriving at the airport no less than two hours before a domestic flight and three hours before an international flight. Also, take into consideration the likelihood of bad weather and holiday traffic that can make for a longer drive to the airport.
Avoid Peak Travel Days & Times
Being flexible about your dates and travel times can allow the potential for your travel agent to find deals, better routing, and flights that are not as busy. Most people don’t like to fly very early or very late so this can provide a far better airport experience for you.
Avoid Airline Counters If Possible
When and if you can, use an airline’s self-check-in or curbside bag check. This helps you avoid long lines at check-in counters due to staff shortages that can happen over the holiday season.
Reserve Airport Parking
If you must drive to the airport, you can reserve and pay for your parking ahead of time online. This ensures you will get a parking spot and some airports do offer deals to pre-book parking online. Companies like Groupon often have deals for airport parking at this time of year.
Plan, But Be Prepared For The Un-plan-able
Snowstorms, power outages, and flight delays oh my! These are just a few of the events that can take place around this busy season. Psychologists say that if you are aware that you may just have to “go with the flow” you’re less likely to be stressed out if Mother Nature decides to have an off day.
Double Check Your Luggage & Carry On Size
With the ever-decreasing size and allowances of luggage these days it is the savvy traveller who knows whether their carry on will fit or not and knows that their checked luggage is not overweight/over-sized. Because of the sheer number of holiday travellers, airlines are extra Scroogy about luggage size and weight.