Traveling during the holidays can be stressful, but with the right tips, it doesn’t have to be. When you plan ahead and heed the suggestions of travel experts, your chances of a mishap are greatly reduced. Whether you’re traveling internationally for a Christmas holiday with your family, or visiting out-of-state relative for Thanksgiving, there are some travel tips that should be implemented for every holiday, every year. Here are Superior Cruise & Travel’s five holiday travel tips to keep you sane throughout the holidays:
Use Apps To Stay Informed
There are a wide variety of travel apps geared towards helping you stay informed regarding your travel plans. Use these to your advantage during the holidays, and they’ll help you make better decisions about your plans. For example, GateGuru allows you to input your travel information and receive real-time updates on your itinerary. This includes the current wait time for the security line, flight delays, layover time adjustments, or gate changes. For holiday drivers, use GasBuddy to stop at the cheapest gas stations and cleanest bathrooms. For a handful of other amazing travel apps, check out this article.
Pack Right, Pack Light
Bad packing can easily ruin an otherwise great holiday trip. Waiting until the last minute to pack — especially for families — can be disastrous. Overpacking can stall you and lead to disorganization. A few days before your trip, start writing down your packing list. Apps like PackKing allow to create custom packing checklists, and you can tick items off as you pack them. You can also input your destination and date, and it will provide suggestions for what to pack, such as power adapters for a specific country.
Ship Your Gifts
Lugging gifts around, especially through an airport, can be a time constriction and costly endeavor. Rather than carry around presents, ship wrapped gifts to their destination. If you absolutely must take your gifts through an airport, hold off on the wrapping paper: if the TSA needs to inspect it, they’ll just have to unwrap it anyway. If you’re ordering online, consider having a family member accept and hold onto your gifts, or wrap it for you.
Hack Your Travel Date & Time
Your travel date and time will impact pricing and your overall travel experience. Statistically speaking, traveling on an actual holiday is cheaper and quicker than traveling the day before. For example, the Wednesday prior to Thanksgiving is often the busiest travel day of the year. For 2017, the busiest travel day of the year is actually today, December 23rd. To optimize your travel plans, try to avoid day-before trips and travel on the holiday if you can. If possible, try to fly early in the morning rather than the afternoon. Morning journeys have a higher rate of on-time flights, and in the unfortunate event of a cancellation, you have the rest of the day to figure out an alternative plan.
Consider Travel Package Deals
You can save a ton of money and time by booking travel package deals, versus planning your trip via individual segments. Holidays are an especially great time to take advantage of bundle deals. Your average travel package might include flight, hotel, and car rental. If you’re hesitant to book a travel deal, try getting a quote for each individual item, and you’ll see how much you can save going the alternative route. Working with a travel agent can also help you score some of the best hidden deals around — especially for luxury travel.