By Joseph Lawsomier
It’s almost never too early to book your thanksgiving airline tickets. In fact, you probably should have taken care of that last week. So as you prepare for your Turkey Day travel plans, here’s some tips to keep in mind that will simplify your travel days and make your fellow travelers grateful that you’re one of few travelers that actually has it together.
1. Hire a courier service for bags. If you aren’t going to be able to go all-carry-on, make a reservation with a courier service at least three days prior to your flight. The relatively inexpensive cost outweighs the convenience of having your bags arrive at your destination before you do.
2. Check in online. Most airlines offer an online check-in service that’s available 24 hours before your departure. If you’re not checking baggage you can walk straight to the security line and bypass those insane counter check-in lines.
3. Drop off from Arrivals and vice versa. Have your driver, whether family, friend, or taxi, drop you off in arrivals and pick you up in departures. You’ll skim tons of time off your schedule and you’ll avoid typical travel frustration.
4. Fly out on Thanksgiving and/or come home Friday. You can find cheap tickets if you fly on Thanksgiving. Plus traveling is a breeze, compared to the Thursday before. Look for cheap airline tickets on the Friday after the big meal to make your life so much easier. If you take an early enough flight on Thursday you can still make it in time for the feast.
5. Don’t pack wrapped presents in your bag. You run the risk of becoming that person in the security line. Just by some boxes and wrapping paper when you get to your destination.
6. Search your bags at the luggage at carousel. It’s usually too late for the airlines to catch a personnel thief if you wait to make sure nothing was stolen from your luggage once you get to your final destination.
7. Choose neighboring airports when possible. Fly into Midway instead of O’Hare, Maryland instead of Washington International, Oakland instead of San Francisco if you want less hassle and cheap flights.
8. Bring snacks. Just like there’s no reason to no book discount airfare, there’s no reason to pay airport prices for food. You can pack a whole meal if you want in your carry-on if you want and you won’t have to worry about wasting time during your layover to get food.
9. Check on your flight’s status before leaving for the airport. Don’t spend hours of your precious holiday time sitting at the airport if you don’t have to. On busy travel days it’s common for flights to get delayed and push back your departure time, so be proactive.
10. Arrive early. Sounds too simple right? Too many people think this rule doesn’t apply to them anymore, but you never know what shenanigans you’re going to run into at the airport. Maybe the kid in front of you in the security line throws up and diverting the line takes an additional 45 minutes. It’s gross, but totally plausible.
11. Start a bidding war. If the flight’s overbooked and no one is giving up their airline tickets, you are legally allowed to start your own bidding war. This only works, of course, if you have something of value to put up for bidding.
12. Take the first flight of the day. Getting up early is annoying, but you’ll be more likely to avoid delays and be able to find cheap tickets. Just remember that the earlier you get to your destination the more time you’ll have to nap before grandma asks you to help her with the green bean casserole.
13. Build in extra layover time. A lot of the discount airfare sites will offer minimal layover time. Try to manually set the time yourself on the site or call their reservation line to see if you can build in at least an hour, just in case.
14. Be prepared for security. You should know the drill by now: have your boarding pass and ID in hand, wear easily removable footwear, place all your carry-on liquids in a plastic baggy, and remove your laptop from your bag. There’s nothing more annoying than the person who takes 20 minutes at the conveyor belt because they’re not prepared.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Joseph_Lawsomier
Memorial Day has come and gone and that means summer is officially here! Summer truly is a magical time in Oregon’s Washington County. From strawberry, lavender and garlic festivals to fun, quirky and patriotic events, nearly each weekend during the season celebrates the richness of culture, agriculture and community throughout the region.
Here’s a preview of this summer’s multi-day events and festivals:
Dixie Mountain Grange Strawberry Festival, June 15-16: Sample fresh, Oregon berries at this annual Father’s Day weekend event. A tradition since 1952, the Dixie Mountain Grange hosts the popular Strawberry Festival, which features strawberry shortcake made with freshest ingredients, a quilt display, local craft booths and fresh local strawberries for purchase.
Festival of Balloons in Tigard, June 21-23: Join in an annual Tigard event offering fun for all ages. Weekend events will include a carnival, exhibitors, food, Twilight Run, Safety Safari, Festival of Cars, premiere youth soccer tournament, Rogue beer and morning hot air balloon launches (5:45 – 6:15 am) and NW Natural Night Glow launches (weather permitting)!
Oregon Lavender Festival, July 13-14: Enjoy visiting lavender farms at the height of the growing season, where each farm offers its own selection of different varieties, as well as activities special to this festival, including: lavender bouquet cutting, live music, food for purchase and other vendors. Visit each destination’s website for details. Participating locations in Washington County include: Barb’s Dutchmill Herbfarm, Helvetia Lavender Farm, Jackson School Lavender and Mountainside Lavender. Admission to the farms is free.
The 12th Annual Northwest String Summit, July 18-21: Get your bluegrass on at this four-day bluegrass and Americana music festival, held at Horning’s Hideout. This year’s festival features 26 artists–including three nights of headliner, Yonder Mountain String Band. Three-day and four-day passes are available, and tickets include primitive on-site camping and limited parking. Tickets start at $155, children 10 and under are free with a paying adult.
Sherwood Robin Hood Festival, July 19-21: For more than a half a century, Sherwood has celebrated Robin Hood, his Merry Men and Maid Marian. Medieval times come to life with Renaissance reenactments, a knighting ceremony, archery competition, castle building contest, parade, food, arts and crafts, live entertainment and other fun activities for the entire family. Admission is free.
Washington County Fair, July 25-28: The annual Washington County Fair returns to the Washington County Fair Complex in Hillsboro with a weekend of carnival rides, live music and entertainment, food and more. Admission is free; individual events may have admission fees.
2013 Oregon International Air Show, July 26-28: The Oregon International Air Show is one of the premier aviation events in the Pacific Northwest, and features some of the best in aviation from all over the United States and Canada. The Entertainment Center, KidZone and Military Village offer exciting displays and fun for kids and adults alike. Local vendors will be on hand selling everything from souvenirs to tasty food. Tickets start at $20 ($25 after July 19); discounts for seniors, military and kids, ages 6-12.
Best of Oregon Food & Wine Festival, August 9-10: The fifth annual Best of Oregon Food & Wine Festival returns to Washington County to showcase Oregon’s culinary culture with dozens of world-class wineries, restaurants and numerous culinary artisans.
Summer Fest & Garlic Out West, August 9-11: Experience two evenings and three days of good music, food, entertainment, and fun at the 2013 Summer Fest & Garlic Out West. This event offers a 10k Run with Oregon Road Runners, a vintage Car Show, old fashioned parade down Main Street and a Pancake Breakfast. Kids can enjoy a full-size playground, exciting inflatables play area and rock wall. Free admission.
Tualatin Crawfish Festival, August 9-10: Celebrate good eating–and the city of Tualatin’s 100th birthday–at the Tualatin Crawfish Festival, the nation’s oldest crawfish festival, west of the Mississippi. This is a two-day, fun-filled family event with a variety of food, entertainment, contests, activities for all ages and more.
Oregon Garlic Festival, August 16-18, and the Annual Banks Bar-B-Que and Truck & Tractor Pull, August 17-19: Formerly known as the North Plains Garlic Festival, the Oregon Garlic Festival will be held in neighboring Banks, Oregon, in conjunction with the annual Banks BBQ and Truck & Tractor Pull. This popular community event must be seen to be believed, and features a combine destruction derby, parade, car show, truck tug-of-war, garden tractors and more. General admission is free. Grandstand admission starts at $10 for adults, $5 for kids, ages 6-16.
Oregon Renaissance Festival, Weekends, Saturday, Aug. 24 – Sunday, Sept. 29: Transport yourself to a 16th century European village at the inaugural Oregon Renaissance Festival, in town for 13 days of merriment. Enjoy talented artists, non-stop stage entertainers, food, crafts, pageantry and encounter beautiful maidens, wandering minstrels, joking jesters and jugglers. Magicians, acrobats, comedians, swordfighters, pirates and fairies will entertain and delight. Be sure to meet the “washing well wenches” and daily performance of an armored jousting. Feast on renaissance-inspired food and drink, including: savory turkey legs, steak on a stake, bangers & mash and chocolate-covered cheesecake.
For a complete list of summer events, including one-day annual events and special events, please visit the WCVA’s Events & Festivals Calendar.
It is a little known secret that you don’t have to spend a large sum of money to enjoy the many attractions when you travel to Oregon’s Washington County. In fact, many of our favorite attractions are either free or under $10 per person. In a series of posts, we will share some smart recommendations provided by Washington County Visitors Association for the budget conscious travelers.
This month, we will share tips to explore Oregon’s Washington County wine country for less than $10 per person! Wine, saké and beer enthusiasts on a budget may venture to specialty beverage makers in Washington County for a day of sampling.
Here are a few suggestions to get you started (Prices subject to change):
Helvetia Vineyards (23269 NW Yungen Road, Hillsboro, Ore.)
Helvetia Vineyards was started by former U.S. Congresswoman Elizabeth Furse (1993-1999) and husband John Platt, located in the rural, unincorporated area of Helvetia. The winery, which has been producing wine since 1996, follows sustainable practices—it is a “salmon safe” farm—and produces Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris.
Tasting fee: $3 per person
Open Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
SakéOne (820 Elm St., Forest Grove, Ore.)
The American owned-and-operated saké brewery, SakéOne, produces traditional, premium-grade Japanese saké, plus organic and flavor-infused blends. At the brewery, visitors can tour the kura where each step of the saké-making process is explained, and sip a selection of saké in the tasting room.
$3 per person (Kura flight of four saké tastes); Kura tours are complimentary
Open daily, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Kura tours 1, 2 and 3 p.m.
Two Kilts Brewing Company (14841 SW Tualatin-Sherwood Road, Sherwood, Ore.)
The latest introduction to Oregon’s “beervana” culture is Two Kilts Brewing Company. The company was founded in 2009 and the tasting room opened its doors in 2011. In its short time, Two Kilts has amassed a following and praise from local beer enthusiasts with their India Pale Ale, Scotch Ale and other brews made with local ingredients.
$4 per pint, tastes from $1
Open Monday-Saturday, 3-10 p.m.
For more ideas with a broader price range, download this Wine Tour Itinerary
Oregon’s Washington County is scenically situated between Portland and the Oregon Coast. The destination covers 727 square miles and includes the growing communities of Banks, Beaverton, Cornelius, Forest Grove, Gaston, Hillsboro, King City, North Plains, Sherwood, Tigard, Tualatin and Wilsonville. Washington County is home to world-class golf courses, award-winning wineries, an array of outdoor recreation opportunities, lush, natural and scenic wetlands and wildlife preserves, superb dining, and myriad shopping. For more information, visit the Washington County Visitors Association’s official destination website or visit the online pressroom.
Need some tips on what to do during your next trip to the Portland area? Late summer fun and festivals are abundant throughout the region. Whether you enjoy a round of golf, shopping, wine tasking, bicycling, family friendly activities, dining or going to fairs and festivals, there is something for all visitors to enjoy.
Our front desk staff will be happy to give you recommendations or follow our Facebook updates; and you can also check the following resources to plan your getaway.
Here is a round up of some local events that we recommend checking out this month:
Bridgeport Village Summer Concert Series- Each Thursday evening through August.
2012 Oregon International Air Show August 3-5 at the Hillsboro Airport
Family friendly event features the best of the best: U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, U.S. Army Golden Knights Parachute Team, U.S. Marine Corp. Harrier Demo Team, Oregon Air National Guard F-15 fly-by, Air Force C-17 fly-by, B17 – Sentimental Journey and more.
The 2012 Tualatin Crawfish Festival August 10-11, Tualatin, OR
This annual festival features a fun parade and offers a wide variety of food, entertainment and activities. The event kicks off Friday evening near the lake at Tualatin Commons and continues on Saturday at Tualatin Community Park.
The 15th Annual North Plains Elephant Garlic Festival August 10 – 12, 2012 Jessie Mays Community Center
“Where Fun Stinks”- The festival features entertainment of all kinds–from the kid’s stage, jammin’ blues, and blues grass, an arts and crafts mall, games a parade, a Smelly King and Queen and a beer and wine garden.
67th Annual Banks BBQ & Tractor Pull August 17-19, 2012 Banks Sunset Park
The annual Banks BBQ features truck and tractor pulls and the combine demolition derby. Banks Sunset Park is a 25 acre park featuring four baseball fields, children’s play equipment, picnic areas and Schlegel Hall which can be rented for various events.
Forest Grove Uncorked August 18, 2012 6-8pm Forest Grove, OR
Celebrate in the streets of Forest Grove for the downtown annual “Uncorked” event. This event features Oregon’s abundance of fine wineries, micro-brew beer, skillfully crafted food, fine arts, and local music talent.
Now that the warm weather is finally here, it is time to get out and take in the great outdoors. If hiking or biking isn’t your thing, not to worry. “Festival Going” is a sport too! Visit our post Washington County Oregon Summer Event Highlights to see a list of the top events this summer in Washington Country and Bridgeport Village.
Featured Event: Festival of Balloons in Tigard (June 22-24, 2012)
Cook Park (Tigard, Oregon)
The annual Festival of Balloons in Tigard is a summer tradition. Dozens of balloons take flight in the early morning skies, while several events and activities provide fun for the entire family. Carnival rides, helicopter scenic tours, car show and beer garden are among the festivities planned. Admission, $5-7 for a three-day pass; children ages 6 and under are free; parking is $5.
Featured Festivals in Portland
Portland, Oregon hosts some of the best festivals in the country, and there is no shortage of them in the summer months. As you plan your trip this way, considering heading into town and checking out a few on your own! Here are a just a few of our favorites from the list of annual festivals compiled by www.travelportland.com. Visit their site to see the full listing, including festivals in the Fall, Winter and Spring months.
*Hot Travel Tip*- June is Dining Month in Portland! Enjoy special three-course, prix-fixe dinners at participating restaurants through June 30. Visit www.opentable.com to learn more and to make your reservations.
Oregon Zoo Summer Concerts – June-August
Every summer, fans of folk, rock, world music and more stake out spots on the zoo’s amphitheater lawn, and enjoy performances from some of the hottest, most diverse acts performing today.
Portland Rose Festival – June
The Portland Rose Festival, which celebrated its centennial in 2007, offers three weeks of family events. Highlights include the Rose Festival Grand Floral Parade, the Starlight Parade, a waterfront carnival for families, dragon boat races, concerts and ﬁreworks.
Waterfront Blues Festival – July
The largest blues festival west of the Mississippi River takes place each year during Independence Day week. Portland’s Gov. Tom McCall Waterfront Park sets the stage with top national acts performing over ﬁve days. Large fireworks display on July 4.
The Bite of Oregon – August
Beneﬁtting Special Olympics Oregon, The Bite is one of the “Rose City’s” most popular festivals. Sample food created by local chefs and taste regional wines at the Oregon Wine Garden. Live music by national and local bands, chef demonstrations and family entertainment.
On your next visit, we recommend you check out some of the many antique, vintage and collectibles shops found in Washington County. With 150 years of history, it’s no surprise that antique stores are abundant in Oregon; visitors have their pick antique boutiques rich with history and hidden treasures.
You can find shops that appeal to all collectors, from furniture to jewelry, and everything in between throughout the region. Here are a few top picks we found on www.visitwashingtoncountyoregon.com
Hillsboro has become a haven for the antique hunter, and a stroll down the city’s downtown area, including Main Street is like a trip to yesteryear, with its fine collection of art, consignment and antique shops.
Antiques take center stage on and near Main Street, with shops such as Le’Stuff Antique Mall, a co-op with thousands of antiques ranging from furniture and jewelry to unique knick-knacks.
From Sherwood’s historic “Old Town” to the main drag, many antique shops in this growing city have attracted many collectors from around the globe.
In historic “Old Town” Sherwood, the Railroad Street Antique Mall is a haven for antique lovers, with collectibles ranging from toys and advertising, pottery and glassware, costume jewelry, furniture and much more.
Just a quick walk from the Railroad Street Antique Mall is the Lavender Tea House, a traditional, English-style tea house that is located in a quaint house in Old Town.
Unger’s Trading Post is an antique mall conveniently located on Highway 99W, between Newberg and Sherwood. The Trading Post has a wide variety of vintage and antique pottery, furniture, clothes, collectibles and art.
Forest Grove, Oregon
The city of Forest Grove is not a typical college town. Home of Pacific University, a small, private institution, Forest Grove’s retro-feel blends well with its popular wineries, saké brewery, performing arts venues, art galleries and eclectic shops.
Main Street is home to three of the city’s antique shops, and becomes a hub of activity the first Wednesday of each month with the “Forest Grove First Wednesday” event. Many local businesses, including antique shops, in downtown Forest Grove welcome visitors with special offers and tastings from Oregon wineries.
Antique collectors will enjoy the vast selection of items at Collections in the Attic, which boasts a wide selection of hard-to-find items, ranging from small collectibles to plates and glasses and furniture.
For a treat, antique hunters can stop into Maggie’s Buns,, an eclectic, retro-style coffee shop, that serves homemade baked goods, vegetarian-friendly entrees and salads. The “Buns” in Maggie’s Buns refers to the delectable cinnamon buns, which often sell out quickly.
North Willamette Wine Trail Weekend April 9 – April 10, 2011
Spend a weekend exploring wine country! Journey to 24 neighboring wineries located just minutes from Portland and experience a weekend full of wine, culinary samples, education and fun! From experienced wine lovers to novice wine tasters, the North Willamette Wine Trail has something for everyone.
On April 9 & 10 from 11am – 4pm, guests are treated to complimentary wine tastings, pairings, entertainment and activities at EACH participating winery. Taste a new release, reserve label or a barrel tastings while enjoying specially paired samples. Then, participate in a variety of activities at each location. In addition, Wine Trail guests receive a variety of discounts and offers from restaurants, hotels and other wine tour partners.
After reserving a ticket for the weekend, guests are treated to the following benefits at EACH participating winery:
• Complementary tastings! New releases, reserve labels, barrel tastings and much more
•Pairings! Paired samples from a variety of culinary collections carefully selected to enhance each wine.
• Activities! Tours, one-of-a-kind demonstrations and hands-on activities
Tickets are $45 and include a reusable wine tote filled with a commemorative wine glass, coupons, discounts and other items. Designated Driver tickets are available for $10 and also include a wine trail kit (water bottle in place of the wine glass).
Tickets are available online and in participating tasting rooms. This event does sell out so reserve your tickets early. We look forward to seeing you on the North Willamette Wine Trail!
About The North Willamette Vintners
The North Willamette Vintners (NWV) represents the wineries located in, or immediately adjacent to, Washington County, Oregon. Together this diverse group of wineries shapes the northern gateway to Oregon’s wine country. NWV is dedicated to bring together, through constructive cooperation, the wineries in our region in order to advance the wineries’ mutual interest in increasing consumer awareness of the county’s wine industry through branding, promotional events and activities, and strategic alliances.
By Jeff McRitchie
Portland, Oregon is one of the most popular cities in the Pacific Northwest due to its wondrous natural surroundings, relaxed atmosphere, and the sheer variety of things to do. Here are five great places to visit if you happen to find yourself in Portland…
Washington Park. Portland is famous for its beautiful rose gardens which can be found in Washington Park. The Park is nestled in the city’s West Hills and you can see the roses in bloom in late spring/early summer. (June is when the city’s annual Rose Festival is held.)
The garden offers some of the best views of the city’s skyline and on a sunny day, you can see Mt. Hood as well. Washington Park is also home to some other attractions including the Hoyt Arboretum (a great place to hike), the Japanese Garden, and the Oregon Zoo which has an impressive exhibit called Steller Cove which features sea otters and sea lions.
Powell’s. No visit to Portland is complete without a trip to Powell’s City of Books. This is one of the biggest bookstores in the world (if not THE biggest) and it has an incredible selection to say the least. The store reportedly stocks over 1 million titles and offers used books right alongside the new ones. The store features a great reading series and carries a wonderful section of gift items including t-shirts, messenger bags, bookmarks, and journals. Even if you’re not a bookworm, Powell’s is worth checking out if only to say you’ve been there.
The Northwest District. One of the most popular areas in Portland is its Northwest District which can be found along NW 21st and 23rd Avenues. This is a neighborhood filled with vintage homes and apartments, great restaurants, boutiques, and even Cinema 21, the city’s premier art house theater. You can find virtually any type of cuisine in this neighborhood (Thai, Italian, kosher, vegan) and if you’re not in the mood for food, there are plenty of coffee shops you can visit instead. The neighborhood is very walkable (a good thing since parking is hard to find) and it’s served by TriMet buses and the Portland Streetcar which can take you downtown and to Tom McCall Waterfront Park.
Sauvie Island. Sauvie Island is to the northwest of downtown Portland, right in the middle of the Columbia River. This island is home to a wildlife preserve, numerous farms, and several beaches that are packed during warm summer days. Sauvie Island is perfect for biking and it can also be a pleasant place to take a Sunday drive. Chances are good you’ll see a variety of birds among other critters and in the summer, the fields are dotted with colorful flowers. Sauvie Island is a beautiful place and definitely one of the city’s best attractions.
The Portland Art Museum. Finally, the Portland Art Museum is a great place to visit, especially for art aficionados. In addition to their stunning collection of Native America and Asian art, the Museum has a wonderful modern art exhibit that includes 19th century and Pop Art masterpieces. The Museum often holds special events and exhibitions so depending on when you go, you might be able to view work from the Impressionists or the riches from a famous European family. There’s always something interesting to see at the Museum, so check it out.
Those are just a few of the great places you can visit in Portland, Oregon. They’re all enjoyable and there’s something for everybody. Have fun in the City of Roses!
About the Author: Jeff McRitchie is the Vice-President of Marketing for MyBinding.com. He regularly writes articles, reviews, and blog posts on topics related to bookbinding, laminating, paper shredding, and office equipment. More than 2,500 of his articles have been published in thousands of locations on the Internet. If you’re looking for information about binding machines his articles are a great place to start.
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
Here is some recent news to share from our friends at the Washington County Visitors Association that road trippers and wine lovers will love!
Panels Provide a Glimpse into the Rich Agricultural and Pioneer History of Washington County
BEAVERTON, Ore. – The first two of four new interpretive panels were installed this month along the Vineyard & Valley Scenic Tour Route, a 50-mile driving tour, from Helvetia to Sherwood, through the agricultural and historical region of Washington County, Oregon. Each panel offers a quick lesson about the area’s history, and bridges the area’s history with today’s modern culture.
Located at the Old Scotch Church in Hillsboro, a history of Washington County interpretive panel provides a historical perspective about the earliest settlers in the area, from the Atfalati tribe of the Kalapuya Native Americans, to the arrival of early settlers Joe Meek, Joseph Gale and David Hill. The location is fitting, as Meek’s grave and headstone can be found in the church’s cemetery.
An interpretive panel that illustrates the rich agricultural history of Washington County is at the Smith Berry Barn, also located in Hillsboro. From the 1870s to present day, this panel provides a brief account of some of the area’s earliest farmers, as well as the site itself.
The Vineyard & Valley Scenic Tour Route is an experiential tour through Washington County’s rural countryside, with opportunities to stop at the various attractions along the route: wineries, farms, pioneer settlements, wetlands and natural habitats. The route officially was launched in April 2009, and several projects have enhanced the site, including the installation of crop signs, created with the assistance of the Oregon Agribusiness Council.
Two additional installations of interpretive panels, which will explore the area’s natural and viticultural history, are slated for completion in 2011.
About the Washington County Visitors Association
The Washington County Visitors Association (WCVA) serves the region’s tourism industry by actively promoting Washington County, Ore., to travelers outside of the Portland Metropolitan area as a tourism destination for leisure, business and sporting events. Washington County is scenically situated between Portland and the Oregon Coast, and spans 727 square miles. The destination includes the growing communities of Banks, Beaverton, Cornelius, Durham, Forest Grove, Gaston, Hillsboro, King City, North Plains, Sherwood, Tigard, Tualatin and Wilsonville. For more information about the WCVA, visit www.yourwaytoplay or www.visitwashingtoncountyoregon, or call 503-644-5555.
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.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jeffrey_Meier