Everyone knows that traveling during a holiday can be a dreadful, painful experience.
It seems like everyone and their mommas (seriously) are skipping town to be with family and friends at the same time you are. If you’re reading this and shaking your head in commiseration, here are some must-read tips to make your upcoming holiday travel as painless as possible.
Book early. Easier said than done right? The odds are stacked against you if you are trying to find a last minute holiday flight deal. Flight deals typically pop-up when an airline has extra seating because of a slow season, so don’t count on the busiest time of year to try your luck. Book your flights early and get rates that are reasonable, otherwise your trip to Florida to visit your family might cost as much as your girl’s trip to Paris in the spring.
Book flights during odd hours. This goes without saying all year-long, but avoid the most popular travel times – 8am to 8pm. Instead, opt for 6am flights and red-eyes, where you’ll typically board a less crowded plane and deal with less crowded airports. You’ll thank yourself later.
Pack light. Really consider how many outfits you really need to bring on your trip and avoid the “just in case” pieces. If most of the time will be spent lounging around the house, use that to your advantage and pack as light as possible. Even consider the idea of packing pieces that you can wear multiple ways like a shirt you can dress down for casual activities during the day and spice up a bit for going out at night. Packing light will also help you avoid that horrific checked bag line.
Pack early. Speaking of packing, DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE TO PACK. Tis the season for Friends-givings and holiday parties that we all love to crash. You know this in advance and you know that you will be running around getting your last social appearances in before winter hibernation. Your travels will sneak up on you before you know it, so to avoid the last minute scramble, start packing sooner than later.
Get ahead of the curve. Every major airport deals with the worst kind of congestion around the holidays. Needless to say, the highways that take you there will likely also be backed up. Allow yourself an extra 30 minutes to one hour to get to the airport. It’s better to be a few minutes earlier for your flight than to just miss your flight and have to wait hours for another because the remaining flights for the day are booked. Also, if your airline has the option, check in online 24 hours before your flight, making a more seamless process once you actually get to the airport.