If you’ve ever traveled during the holiday season before, you can probably attest to the stress that comes along with it. Crowds and inflated prices can make traveling this time of year a colossal headache, but with a little extra planning, you can enjoy smooth sailing ahead of and during your trip. Here are a few holiday travel tips to help you navigate your trips with ease this holiday season.
1. Book early.
The closer we get to the holidays, the more prices on flights and hotels will increase. Book as soon as you can, preferably before the Thanksgiving holiday, to avoid paying exorbitant high prices.
2. Be flexible with your dates.
You can save a lot on airfare by flying the day of the holiday. But if that’s not an option for you, try to be flexible with your dates. Avoid flying on peak travel days and look for cheaper flights on days that are a day or two before or after peak periods.
3. If possible, pack carry-on only.
If you’re traveling to be with family for the holidays, you likely have gifts with you. And it would be absolutely terrible if your luggage gets lost or delayed en route to your final destination. Avoid that headache altogether by packing all of your gifts and travel necessities in a carry-on bag. Also, be sure to leave gifts unwrapped in case you get inspected by TSA.
4. If driving, tune-up before your trip.
Depending on your destination, driving may be the best mode of travel for you during the holidays. Take some of the money you’re saving on airfare and use it to make sure that your car is in tip-top shape ahead of your trip. Nothing is worse than being stranded on the side of the road miles from home during the holidays because your car broke down. Get your vehicle to a good mechanic and make sure that everything is functioning properly before you go.
5. Have a back up plan.
Murphy’s Law is inevitable. So it’s a good idea to have a back up plan in case something goes wrong. Get travel insurance so you’re covered in case of a canceled flight. Check bus and train fares as alternate ways to get to your destination. And if all else fails, plan a local staycation in the event that your travel plans fall apart.