Holiday Air Travel Tips
Book Early and Check Alternative Airports
It is easier to book air travel and hotel reservations if you book early. By doing so, you can also find the cheapest travel days available. Most airline travel sites have flexible search functionality, which lets you check flights up to three days before or after the departure and return dates you select. Don’t forget to check alternative airports, this time of year it can really make a difference in your holiday budget. You can find a deal on almost every portion of your holiday journey; parking, rental cars and hotels.
The current TSA rules regarding liquids and gels makes getting through security quickly very challenging . You can, however, expedite this process by doing as much preparation as possible ahead of time. First of all, if you’re traveling with a laptop, you either want to have it out and ready to load into the x-ray tray or purchase a TSA-compliant backpack like the Lance Daypack or the Hercules Laptop Backpack from ECBC. These packs allow you to just unzip the back panel of the backpack, lay it down flat and run it through the scanner quickly and relatively hassle free. You’ll also want to have your allowed liquids in one bag or pouch so you’re not busy trying to dig them out of your bag. If you’re bringing any gifts home, don’t wrap them because they’ll probably end up getting unwrapped by security. And lastly, pack your carry-on as neatly as possible so if it is searched by TSA they can ascertain the contents quickly and easily and let you move on.
Before you leave the house, confirm your travel details and make sure the name on your boarding pass and your government-issued ID match. Check the status of your flight online or via email notification before you head to the airport as not to arrive only to discover your flight has been canceled. Also, you can easily print your boarding pass early online before you arrive to avoid the long airline check-in counters. Whenever you travel, pre-program your phone with backup numbers just in case your flight is canceled or delayed you can quickly determine an alternate plan. If a connecting flight is canceled and you are stranded, it’s a good idea to have a couple of local airport hotel numbers so you be the first to secure a place to stay.
Holiday Road Trip Tips
Prepare Your Vehicle
A breakdown can quickly turn a holiday road trip from fun to stressful. You can take simple precautionary measures a few days in advance to reduce your chances of experiencing a delay in holiday travel. For example, check the air pressure in the tires and tire tread wear and address any possible issues. If heading closer to the mountains, make sure you have a set of snow chains, even if you’re not expecting snow. Make sure you have an “Emergency Roadside Kit”, complete with jumper cables, a flashlight, blankets and some bottled water. If you happen to get stuck in the snow, stay in your car, it’s your best shelter.
Map your route in advance and be prepared for busy roads during winter season. If possible, consider leaving earlier or later to avoid heavy traffic. It is also helpful to have a few different route options. Most modern GPS systems have traffic satellites to show you fastest route possible. Let someone know your timetable and travel route, which is especially important if you’ll be driving in isolated areas with little traffic.
Holiday travel brings out the traffic cops and accompanying speed traps, making the likelihood of bringing home a speeding ticket as a holiday souvenir more likely than usual. Slowing down will avoid this problem and it’s also the best way to increase fuel economy. In some cases, slowing your rate of travel by 5-10 miles per hour can improve gas mileage by 5-10 percent. Don’t forget to also take a break from driving every two hours or 100 miles. Breaking up the drive periodically will help you feel more relaxed and alert while you’re on the busy, holiday time roads.