Whether your planning a trip to Grandma’s or spending the holidays in Venice, traveling over the holidays can be expensive, stressful, and full of germs! Read below to learn our 8 tips for holiday travel. These 8 tips for holiday travel will help keep you and your family safe, healthy, and as stress-free as possible!
1. Avoid peak travel dates.
At Thanksgiving, Wednesday is the critical outbound “avoid” day as a rule. Traveling on Thanksgiving day proper is often a breeze and more affordable; there are often cut-rate airfare deals on Thanksgiving day. If you can fly home any day other than Sunday, you’ll likely pay less.
At Christmas and New Year’s, the peak travel dates change each year depending on which days the holidays fall. You can generally guess which dates will be the most expensive for travel (consider which travel days would allow you to maximize long weekends without taking too many days off work — and that’s probably when everyone will want to go). If you’re not sure, use a search engine that lets you put in flexible travel dates; these will show you which date combinations will give you the best deal.
2. Shop around.
Whether you’re using booking sites like Travelocity, bid or auction sites such as Priceline or metasearch sites such as Kayak, comparison shopping has never been easier than it is right now. During peak travel season, casting the net as wide as possible will help you understand all of your options.
For many travelers, price isn’t the only or even the most important factor, especially during the holidays. Thoughtful, deliberate use of the “search adjacent days or airports” features found on many websites may also surrender greatly improved fares and travel times.
3. Plot connections carefully.
When booking flights, check your search results carefully for sufficient time during layovers, and build in some time for flight delays and weather woes. Particularly during the winter months, peak travel times often bring peak travel delays, and your connection is more likely to be jeopardized. Avoiding really tight connections may save you a sprint through the terminal or a missed flight.
4. Pack wisely.
In the past, you may have been able to fit everything into your carry-on without having to check any baggage — a strategy we still recommend. However, the TSA rules about liquids and gels make this a trickier proposition. For the record, you may bring liquids and gels in 3.4-ounce or smaller containers, packed within a single, quart-size, zip-top, clear plastic bag. You’re also allowed to bring any liquids (such as coffee or water) or gels purchased after you go through a security checkpoint onto your plane with you. If you want to bring more than the 3.4-ounce amount, you’ll have to pack the items in your checked luggage. Don’t forget to carry hand sanitizer with you wherever you go!
5. Travel early or late in the day.
As a rule, airports are least congested at times when normal human beings would rather be at home or even asleep. Delays are far less likely for morning flights, and airports usually unclog as the afternoon and evening peak passes. Caveat: Staffing can be spotty for really early flights, so although your flight is highly likely to be ready to leave on time, check-in may take a while, along with other personnel-dependent steps like riding shuttle buses.
6. Keep your cool.
Keep your cool. This seems a bit silly to is easier said than done. Airline employees have considerable power over your well-being. Unfortunately, some enjoy wielding it against you, and few respond well to anger.
7. Exercise in the Morning.
“Moving your body first thing in the morning sets the day right and helps your body stay stress-free during this busy season. Plus, getting your workout done and out of the way early in the day ensures nothing comes between you and your fitness goals. A quick, 15-minute toning routine or walk will make a huge difference in your energy levels for the day,” says Karena and Katrina, the hosts of Tone It Up.
8. Drink up … on the Right Things.
“If your body is dehydrated it literally cannot function, and it increases cravings too. It’s easy to forget to drink the water your body needs with all the holiday bustle, and particularly when the weather outside is chilly. But your body needs half its body weight in ounces daily — if you weigh 150 pounds, get at least 75 ounces of water each day,” says Karena and Katrina, the hosts of Tone It Up.
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