It’s the most wonderful time of the year – that is, of course, unless you’re planning to travel.
When the festive season rolls around, many people find themselves making travel plans so that they can go home and spend time with the parents, or get the family together for a more memorable holiday. Unfortunately, there’s so many ways for something to go wrong, and so many opportunities to leave you tearing your hair out from the stress, that even if you’re the most seasoned globetrotter – you might need some festive travel tips to save your holiday season (and your sanity).
If your aim is to avoid a winter vacation experience that plays out like the intro scenes from “Home Alone”, then the following festive travel tips and tricks might be just the guidance you need. Arm yourself against the madness this year, and set yourself up to get the most out of your holiday season.
Step 1: Booking the Journey
Finding a way to save your holiday season starts well before you find yourself standing in the airport, looking for a place to plug in your worldwide adapter plug. Booking your flights at the right time, and with the right techniques, can save you a great deal of stress.
1. Fly on Christmas Day
Christmas day is by far one of the biggest holidays in the world – which makes it a very unpopular day to travel. That’s why you’re bound to see plenty of incredible airline deals available if you’re willing to change your journey slightly, and ship out on Christmas morning, rather than a day or two before. If you don’t want to open your gifts in an airplane cabin – at least keep in mind that December 26th, and January 3rd are the busiest travel days of the year.
2. Compare Prices
Ever wondered why people love travel apps so much these days? It’s because these nifty little downloadable life-savers can help you to cut hundreds of dollars off your average plane ticket. Search through various different sites, and use comparison websites to make sure that you’re getting the absolute best deal – even if it means stopping for a quick layover.
3. Delete your Search History
One of the greatest and most over-looked festive travel tips out there, is the recommendation that you delete your search history before you book anything. If you’ve ever found yourself in a position where you see a cheap flight, promise yourself you’ll book a ticket later, then come back to see the price has shot upwards? This is because airlines are tracking your visits, with cookies and caching information, and holding them against you when selling the flight you want. Delete your information, and you’ll get the best deal – every time.
Step 2: Taking the Flight
Once your journey is booked and organized, it’s time to make your way to the airport, but what you do when moving through security and arranging your luggage could determine whether you have a simple and straightforward trip, or a festive nightmare. The following festive travel tips to save your holiday season focus on getting things right for your flight.
1. Be Careful with Gifts
While the TSA permits travelers to bring wrapped gifts along in their luggage, your paper might be torn off the gift if it looks like it’s been tampered with, or might pose a security threat. Usually, it’s a better idea to select gift bags over traditional wrapping paper, so you can show security personnel the interior items with ease.
2. Use a TSA Lock
It’s been said time and time again, yet when it comes to festive travel tips, people still forget to properly pack their suitcase – leading to extra time spent hanging around the security gate waiting to be allowed onto a flight. Using a TSA Lock to secure your clothes, gadgets, and even your trusty travel adapter plug should ensure that you move through the airport process quickly and easily. What’s more, it will ensure that your TSA agent doesn’t have to cut through your luggage if he or she recognizes a potential threat. The right accessories really can save your holiday season.
3. Get to the Airport Early
Festive travel tips like this one aren’t just useful for the holiday season – but they do become particularly important during the fast-paced winter season. During Christmastime, the early bird gets to avoid the stress that comes with shoving through a cramped airport terminal in a desperate attempt to reach the flight gate before the airplane takes off without them. Adding about forty-five extra minutes to your usual pre-flight timing should give you enough flexibility to move through security, adapt to any changes or delays, and manage unforeseen hurdles without feeling rushed or anxious.
Step 3: Using the Roads
Finally, when you arrive in your destination, make sure that you’re prepared, we don’t have a list of tips for this step, but we do have some common sense guidance that should help you to avoid some obvious disasters. For instance, save your holiday season by avoiding traffic jams wherever possible. During December, the 24th, and 26th are likely to be the busiest days for road traffic, whereas the second of January is bound to brimming with people trying to get back into their regular routine.
At the same time, check the internet ahead of your vacation schedule for information about the weather. Being aware of when storms might strike in your chosen destination should help you to avoid being trapped with the relatives for longer than you might like, thanks to a snow storm, or emergency situation. As with most things, the best festive travel tips to save your holiday season generally rely on being prepared and ready to tackle the most stressful of situations.
Enjoy your vacation, and remember that a little bit of work can go a long way when it comes to taking the stress out of holiday travel.