Article by Jeffrey Meier
Are you ready to get started on the travel journey of a lifetime this holiday season but feel as though you are forgetting something important? Don’t fret! All you need are a few holiday travel tips to make sure you stay on the right track. Whether you’re going to spend time with your family, or are taking everyone on a fun getaway, it is important that you plan well. So to help you out I am providing some holiday travel tips that will make your vacation time with family and friends a breeze.
Find Out Peak Travel Dates One of my top holiday travel tips is to find out when the peak travel dates are – then avoid them like a plague! Peak travel dates have two problems associated with them:
1) plane tickets, hotel rooms, car rentals, and more tend to be more expensive, and
2) everyone else will be traveling on those dates, hence the name peak travel dates.
If possible, plan your vacation time at work a few days before the peak travel period so that you can avoid the rush. And also try to plan coming back a few days after – that way you can almost always guarantee reductions in prices, reductions in holiday traffic and reductions in headaches.
Do Your Comparison Shopping It is important to stay abreast of holiday travel tips that help you find the best deals for your money. That starts with finding flight specials and continues with locating vacation destination deals. If you are going to visit family for the holidays and are not in need of a hotel room or transportation when you arrive then flight costs are all you will need to take into consideration.
There are plenty of websites that give great holiday deals. Shop around with the major travel search engines such as Expedia and Travelocity, but also look at Cheaptickets.com and others for great rates. Also, you will be surprised to find that many airlines will have great deals if you search their website directly. And if you want the best comparison shopping experience, I recommend using SideStep.com. They use a side-by-side comparison of every flight special, sorted by price. I have found the greatest success using their services.
If you are traveling to a destination that does not include free room and board, then one of my holiday travel tips is for you to comparison shop for great all-inclusive package deals. You can find great places to stay during that holidays that have 3- and 5-night vacation packages with meals and activities included. Also, you will want to try to get a car factored into the price if you need one for your trip. The more specific you are when planning and the earlier you book, the better your results will be.
Plan Your Connecting Flights with Great Care This is one of the holiday travel tips that will reduce your stress level significantly. I say this because I know the feeling of sitting in the airport waiting to board the first of two connections when you hear the airline attendant politely (and nervously) inform passengers that the flight has been delayed for an hour or more due to a snow storm in “Sock-It-To-Me,” Kansas.
When you hear the news, your thoughts quickly shift to your connecting flight that is probably scheduled to depart on time – 30 minutes after this flight is supposed to land. You know pre-boarding begins 30 minutes prior to take off to ensure the flight leaves on schedule. And that’s when questions like “What will I do if my flight doesn’t land before the other flight takes off?” and “Are there additional flights available?” begin to rush through your mind. And of course, the final thought will be, “Why didn’t I schedule my connecting flight for a later time?”
This anxiety can be avoided by choosing connecting flights that allow for an hour and a half or more of layover time. I know that when you make the choice to find connecting flights as close as possible to the time your first flight is to land that you are simply trying to get where you’re going quickly and want to avoid boredom in the airport. But usually one and a half to two hours isn’t that long when you consider that it takes time to exit the plane, find the connecting flights departing gate, which could be in another terminal, then get settled before it is time to board the second plane. Besides, if you allow yourself the extra time, you are almost guaranteed the promise of making your connecting flights – a promise that is more than welcome during the busy holiday season.
Plan Your Packing In Accordance with Current Airport Security Measures. This is one of the holiday travel tips that actually sounds unfair – and trust me; I used to feel the same way too. But after enough hassles at the airport security station, I finally gave in and realized that I couldn’t change what I couldn’t control. So now, instead of fussing at the ways airports are trying to ensure our safety, I simply plan ahead by packing my belongings in accordance with their security measures.
One way to do this is by making sure to pack all of liquids and gels that are larger than 3 ml in the bags I plan to check. The airport has signs up everywhere that let you know that you cannot carry liquids and gels through the security checkpoint; these items include lotion, toothpaste, baby oil, aerosols (hairspray), perfume bottles, bottled water, and much more. If you carry them through the checkpoint they will find and confiscate them – you cannot stop this from happening. So to avoid the drama, why not simply pack them away and happily greet them at the baggage claim at your destination? You are allowed to carry liquids and gels 3 ml and smaller in a zip-top, clear bag, so you are not completely left out in the cold. And by sticking to the rules, you, your family, everyone in line behind you, and airport security will be much happier.
Remembering this helpful holiday travel tips will definitely help make vacationing during this holiday season a better experience. If you are in need of additional holiday travel tips, remember the last time you traveled and all of the challenges you faced, then apply them to the holiday season. By doing this you can assure yourself that you won’t be faced with any unwelcome surprises.
Jeffrey Meier at Jam727 Enterprises at http://www.thearticlehome.com blog offers even more detailed information on a wide variety of topics.
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