It’s finally that time of the year again; the season for giving and the season to be thankful, the season for hot beverages on crisp evenings and perhaps most importantly, the season for sales and discounts. Everyone is on the sharp lookout for the hottest deals, be it a half-priced sweater or a stellar holiday package deal.
Traveling during the holiday season is a trend that has rapidly grown in the past few years and by the looks of it, it is a trend that is here to stay. More and more people are now keen on the idea of taking advantage of the competitive packages to escape to a warmer destination during the winter while some seek out adventurous winter sport trips. With everyone looking for a getaway, it is not surprising that traveling during the holidays is nothing short of a nightmare with overpacked airports, overbooked hotels and overwhelming delays due to inhospitable weather conditions.
Air travel is stressful enough on a regular day and during the holiday season, the prospect is made extra daunting by regular delays, extended waits for luggage, missed connections and cramped flights. The very thought of an unfortunate combination of the above mentioned air travel disasters is enough to make anyone cringe at the thought of traveling during the holidays. And of course, there is road travel with treacherous roads and ridiculous traffic, but that we can worry about another day. Assuming we make it past the icy death roads and the traffic that can inspire the most dramatic of road-rages, there are a few simple steps that can lead to more a peaceful air travel, even if a glitch-free trip can never really be guaranteed.
Plan in advance: Seems obvious enough and yet many a holiday trip has been marred by simple oversights that could easily be avoided by planning ahead. Pre-booking, re-confirming and double-checking are simple steps that may seem time consuming, but are more likely to save you time in the grand scheme of events. Also, planning ahead gives you the opportunity to snag the best deals, the off-peak cheaper flights and good travel dates.
Keep ample time in hand: There is almost always something left to do last minute and in all the hustle bustle, rushing to the airport, furiously praying for empty roads and green lights is not an uncommon scenario. The domino effect of this is that you will inevitably be five minutes behind schedule for the rest of the boarding process. Try to leave early and anticipate appropriate travel time to the airport. Also, flights delays are not uncommon at this time of the year; be mentally prepared for long waits and bring reading material to pass the time as you wait for your flight to be ready after de-icing.
Be prudent about packing: Most of us are guilty of overpacking most of the time. The idea of going to an unknown place and finding yourself sans an essential tool is enough to make most pack a flashlight for a trip to Paris and take a can-opener to the Bahamas. Most airlines now practice stringent baggage allowances and a lighter suitcase can save you money, and even time, if you can avoid checked baggages altogether. You really do not need that third pair of back-up glasses. Lose it.
Take care of your health: You do not want to contract flu and cold right before your holiday and spend the duration of your trip sneezing in pictures and being able to taste the foreign cuisine. Get a flu shot before your trip and use hand sanitizer as often as possible to avoid germs. Long time on aircrafts can lead to Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), clotting blood in your legs. Stretch and walk around for a few minutes every hour to avoid this.
Despite all the foresight, there will sometimes be a lost bag or two, a cold may sneak up on you as your plane takes off; some of us will still take that can-opener, just in case, and some of us will rush through the gates just as they are about to close. The important thing is to keep a positive outlook at times like this. Take a deep breath and troupe through the airport drama and keep your eye on the prize – the getaway you’ve been daydreaming about for months. For more winter travel tips, click here.
Watch the video below, too, for tips from Orbitz!
Have a happy holiday wherever your travels may take you!