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Holiday Travel Tips

Holiday air travelers will face their annual trepidation as we make our travel plans to be able to see relatives and friends late this year. The idea of long waiting lines to check in or pick up luggage on the carousel can send shivers up and down our spines. Add to that trying to set a schedule that includes connecting flights in winter weather and we want to throw our hands up in despair.

We have a few ideas to help make this time a little less stressful for you.

  • The first is to be prepared and be patient. Being prepared means you may as well anticipate some delays. Charge your iPod and your cell phone, bring plenty of reading material, etc. If you are traveling with children make sure you have some new items for them to entertain themselves with and have plenty of snacks. Bringing a portable DVD player is never a bad decision. Then remember to be patient. Delays can take time.
  • Get to the airport early. If possible, try and be there about 2 hours before domestic flight times and even more for international flights.
  • Try not to take trips that will involve connecting flights. Weather delays can cause missed connections. If you do have connecting flights, allow at least one hour between arrival and departure flight times.
  • Pack light. Ship extra clothes and presents to your destination. Bringing wrapped presents on board can be a problem, especially if the TSA security personnel make you open the package for inspection which is a possibility.
  • In addition to packing light, try to pack so you can use a carry on bag instead of checking your luggage through. Virtually all 22" upright bags can be carried on board domestic airlines. With so many people traveling during the Holiday season, lines at the carousel can be long and lost luggage is a major pain.
  • Bring all necessary phone numbers with you. If you have to change or cancel a connecting flight for example, call ahead as soon as possible. The charge or penalty will be less than if you have missed the flight.
  • Confirm all details of your flight before leaving. Check the weather at your destination in case you have to prepare for a change of clothing. You can do this by going to Accuweather's website.