Top 5 Holiday Travel Tips

Whether you’re jetting off to somewhere warm or visiting family in another state, you should always expect for things to take a little bit longer when traveling for the holidays.  In fact, last year, records were broken when 107.3 million people traveled during the holiday season! But don’t let these numbers discourage you, if you plan and prepare accordingly, traveling during the holiday season can be a breeze. Let’s talk about some holiday travel tips and tricks that will make traveling this season a little more bearable!

Do Your Research

Airline tickets can skyrocket during the holiday season, so you want to be sure to weigh out all your options before booking. Not only should you consider different times and airlines, but also different airports. Smaller airports tend to have lower flight prices. Even if they may be a little less central than larger airports, the money you save may be worth it. They also tend to be less crowded since many people do not know about them or consider them when traveling to somewhere new.

Leave Plenty of Time Beforehand

The usual rule of thumb is to arrive at the airport about 90 minutes before your flight, but during the holiday season, you will most likely need a little more time, especially if you’re traveling on a peak day. The end of November through the end of December is the busiest traveling time of the year, and there are a few specific peak days within the time frame that you should definitely try to avoid. The day before Thanksgiving is the biggest travel day of the year, and the Sunday after is quite busy too when everyone is returning home after the holiday. As for Christmas, the day before Christmas Eve and the couple following days following Christmas are days you may want to avoid. If you are traveling on a peak day you will want to get to the airport at least two hours early, or earlier if you can just to be completely safe. If you absolutely must travel on these peak days, try to travel during the early morning or late night to beat a little bit of the rush.

Gift Accordingly

Gifts are just one more thing to stress about when traveling for the holidays! But there are some ways that you can get your gifts from point A to point B easily while also saving precious space in your luggage. One of the best solutions is gift cards. Gift cards are a great gift whether your traveling or not. Your friends and family will be able to pick out whatever they want with them, and they will take up barely any space in your luggage! If you’re not crazy about gift cards and want to get something a little more personal, think about shipping your gifts. Either ship them to your destination before you leave, all wrapped up and ready to go, or order them online and get them shipped directly there! When shopping online, many stores will ask you if the product is a gift, and if so, they will thoughtfully wrap it up and remove the price. If these options won’t work for you and you must travel with your gifts the best things you can do are:

  1. Don’t wrap them, this may make it difficult for them to pass through security, and TSA may have to unwrap them.
  2. Don’t check them, take them as carry-on instead. You don’t want your gifts to get lost or damaged with all the checked bags.

Fly Direct

If you’re someone who usually books connecting flights to save money, traveling for the holidays might be a good time to splurge a little and get a direct flight. With the increased amounts of flights and people traveling during the holiday season, the chances of cancellations and delays increases. Booking a direct flight will put your mind at ease, once you step on that plane your holiday starts, no more stressing about making your next flight!

Avoid Lines When Possible

holiday travel tipsAvoid lines when you can by checking into your flight beforehand, checking your bags curbside or just bringing carry-on.  Fewer lines mean less stress, so take advantage of these options when you can! No matter what though, you will always have to face that dreadful security line. To make this a little easier be very mindful when packing. Research TSA guidelines beforehand and check not once, but twice that your luggage is up to their standards.

Also, when you’re entering security and choosing which line to get in, try to get into one with fewer children in it. Families with children tend to take a little longer to get through security. If you can, try to get in a line that has more solo flyers and business people in them, they move fast and probably packed light, which will make security a breeze!

We hope you found these holiday travel tips helpful. If you need transportation to the airport or train station this holiday season, we can get you there on time and stress-free! Book with us online or give us a call at (781) 593-1006!