It’s the holiday season, and we all know what that means – hundreds, if not thousands of avid travelers storming the airport in an attempt to get home to family and friends in time for festivities and New Years’ Eve parties.
Flying during the holidays is a hectic experience filled with the potential for problems – whether your flight gets delayed by a sudden snow storm, or you simply find yourself struggling to get through security with a bag that’s over-packed and way too heavy.
The good news, is that there are plenty of mistakes globetrotters make when the temperature starts to drop that could easily be avoided with a little forward-thinking and careful planning. Following, we’re going to give you a rundown of the most common problems festive travelers face, and what you can do to make flying during the holidays simpler than ever.
Mistake 1: Procrastinating
Reports have shown that the price of airfare increases the closer we get to the holiday, so there’s really no time for procrastinating when it comes to finding and booking your flights. One of the biggest mistakes globetrotters make is assuming that they can still get awesome last-minute deals right around Christmas day and New Year’s – however the truth is that you’ll be better served by getting everything sorted weeks, if not months in advance.
The procrastinating problems don’t stop with booking the flight either – flying during the holidays creates a great deal of stress, that can lead to last-minute packing, or a mad dash to the airport after hitting the snooze button on your alarm too many times. Get ahead of the most common problems this year, and make sure your organized and prepared for your festive trip.
Mistake 2: Forgetting to Keep Valuables Safe
You’re going to visit family, so you shouldn’t need to bring your money protection pouch with you – right? Wrong. Though your dear old aunt is unlikely to steal your cash and passport, the holiday season makes for chaotic airport conditions, which means that someone could quickly and easily snag your wallet from your jacket pocket without you even realizing it.
If you want to avoid the stress of lost cash and documents, make sure you have your money protection pouch hanging around your neck, behind your shirt, where it can be protected from the bumping and madness of winter terminals. Flying during the holidays is much harder when you’re doing it without any cash!
Mistake 3: Packing Too Much Stuff
When you’re flying during the holidays, it can be all too easy to over pack. After all, not only will you be more inclined to stock up on warmer, bulkier clothing to help you avoid the discomfort of the dropping winter temperatures, but you’ll also be looking for ways to stuff your suitcases full of gifts for the people that you’re going to be visiting. Unfortunately, packing way too much can be one of the biggest mistakes globetrotters make, as it slows them down at the baggage claim, and can lead to extra expenses if you go over your airline’s approved luggage weight.
Make sure that you have plenty of extra space in your luggage for the gifts you’re going to be taking with you, and the gifts that you expect to receive – even if that means narrowing down the items in your hand luggage to the absolute minimum. A good way to do this is to choose a number of layering clothing items that you can wear, instead of huge bulky sweaters. Make sure to wear your thickest clothing on the airplane too, as this will help you to avoid finding a place for it in your already overflowing bags.
Mistake 4: Traveling with the Crowd
As always, flying during the holidays at a price that is both affordable, and reasonable, means being as flexible as possible with your dates and times. One of the mistakes globetrotters make is attempting to buy tickets for a flight at the same time as everyone else – such as the 26th of December, the 24th of December, or the 2nd of January. Look at what’s available from your closest airport and you should be able to get a good idea of the most popular flight times based on the increased prices around certain periods.
Keep in mind that, as with most flights throughout the year, trips taken during the week, instead of during the weekend, are usually less expensive and hectic, as people prefer to wait until they’re finished with work before they head out on a flight.
Mistake 5: Forgetting to Bring Entertainment
Finally, if you’re flying during the holidays, you might assume that you won’t have any time to sit down and relax for a few minutes with your favorite music, or a good book. However, the truth is that the festive season is all about periods of rush, followed by periods of waiting around for other people to get things done. The last thing you want is to be stuck at the airport for an extra hour thanks to a sudden snow storm, with nothing to do but twiddle your thumbs and look outside at the increasingly white atmosphere.
Whether it’s a book that you can slot neatly into your hand luggage, or a computer tablet that you can charge up at an airport terminal, find a way to keep yourself happy and entertained during the times when you can’t do anything else. This will not only ensure that your stress levels are kept to a minimum, but it should also mean that you arrive at your destination feeling less angry and upset when things go wrong, because you’ll have had something to take your mind off the disappointment of a delayed flight, or unexpected layover.
Avoiding the Common Mistakes Globetrotters Make
We all make mistakes from time to time, and travelling is stressful enough without the added strain of the holiday season to worry about. We hope that the information outlined above has given you some of the guidance you need to have a happier festive vacation this year.