Thanksgiving is just around the corner and Christmas is closely behind. Now would be a good time to start planning for your holiday travel before time gets away from you. We all know how much of a nightmare holiday travel is, but here are some tips that will make planning less of a headache.
You have a little bit of time to shop around for the best deal and a lot of airlines and travel sites offer notifications via email. Saving here means more funds to add to your holiday gift budget.
Bundle and Save
Do you need airline tickets and a car rental? Sites like Expedia and Travelocity will save you money by bundling. The more you bundle, the more you save.
If you belong to AARP, USAA, AAA or are part of the military, you can enjoy discounts on travel, lodging and rentals. Several airlines even offers free checked bags for members of the military.
If you have time to browse, check out what different airlines have to offer. Southwest and JetBlue offers one to two free checked bags. Virgin America, Air Canada, Alaska and Emirates are a handful of airlines that offer free in-flight movies. Some airlines still offer free snacks and meals.
If you want less bags to worry about, consider giving cash or gift cards at Christmas. Remember that gifts are subject to be unwrapped if you are carrying them on. You can also ship the presents ahead of time. The same thing goes for the presents you’ll receive. You may want to ship them home rather than pay for an extra suitcase to put them in.
Reserve Airport Parking
Many people have experienced the hassle of having to drive around looking for a spot at the airport at some point. Many lots allow you to pre-book your spot so you aren’t scrambling to park before your flight takes off. Do yourself a favor and reserve your spot ahead of time.
Avoid Airport Lines
You won’t need to wait in line if you print your boarding pass at home or use an e-ticket. You can even check your bags at the skycap to save more time.
Don’t Travel on Peak Days
You’ve probably heard it before, but the day before Thanksgiving and the Sunday after are the worst days to travel (by plane, train or car). The best days to travel are on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. If you can’t make that work, adjusting your dates by even just a day can help save money and increase seating availability.
Leave Extra Travel Time in Your Schedule
Yes, it will be crowded. So make sure you prepare for the delays on the road and at the airport. Bring a book or music so you can relax while you wait. Turn your wait time into downtime and de-stress.
Prepare for Travel with Children
Children have a way of making or breaking your travel experience, so make sure you pack for whatever problem arises. Snacks and games are a must.
These are just a few tips to help create a smooth holiday travel season. What’s your best travel tip?
– By Lana Evans, Editor