During this hectic holiday season, there’s more on people’s minds besides presents, food and family. It’s a premier travel time in America. Besides Thanksgiving, the time around Christmas is the largest day to migrate. Be it back home to see relatives or perhaps take the family on a much needed vacation, people flock all around the US during this time. It can be incredibly stressful and potentially expensive. But, no worries on that, we have you covered. In this article we will review some helpful travel tips and some basic pitfalls to watch out for during this frantic point in the year.
For starters if you are traveling by plane, try and pack as light as possible. This will help you not only with airfare but being able to put your luggage into whatever way you plan on getting around during your stay. A great way to save money and time is to rent a car from a local rental location. You will avoid airport fees and markups, not to mention you’ll have a helpful staff that will probably be fairly knowledgeable about the area you are vacationing in. Another helpful tip to make sure you are at the airport at least 2 hours early. There will be an estimated 2.3 million going through Tampa International Airport alone during the time between Christmas and New Year’s and that makes for one long line at security! If you are traveling outside the continental United States, give yourself at least three hours. Also be sure and avoid peak travel days. Try the middle of the week and of course as far away from December 24th and 25th, as well as January 4th and 5th. If you are going to be changing planes, make sure you are familiar with that airport. A 45 minute layover seems like enough time until you factor in taxing, deplaning, finding your next gate and then getting there in time to board. You’ll find that 45 minutes feels more like 10 minutes.
If you are planning on getting gifts for loved ones back home, try to purchase your gifts in town. Avoid taking presents on the plane as it can slow you down. If you are bringing presents with you, wrapping them in your destination will save you on time in the airport. Traveling just isn’t for those departing and arriving; it also includes people who might be picking you up from the airport. Always be certain to give your travelers time to deplane, grab any baggage they may have brought with them and find their way to you the arriving flights pick up location.
Another solid tip for those who are traveling by air is to leave either very early or very late. People tend to travel most during the daytime hours and you’re more likely to sit with your family or travel companions if you travel outside those hours. Finally, always remember to be patient and keep your cool. Everyone is trying to get somewhere as fast as possible so they can maximize their time off, just like you are. Expect the unexpected and remember that everyone just wants to enjoy the holidays to the best of their ability!