Tips to Help You and Your Family Get through Hectic Holiday Travel

Tips to Help You and Your Family Get through Hectic Holiday Travel
Image: Pexels
November 7, 2014

Christmas may seem like light years away, but Thanksgiving is less than a month away.

With the official beginning of the holiday season comes the holiday travel season and it's safe to say most people are none too thrilled about it.

We've combed the internet to find some tips that will hopefully help you get through this hectic travel season.

Book Early: Industry experts claim that with continued capacity restrictions making less seats available, the few that are up for grabs are going to go quickly. Despite falling gas prices and increasing profits, airline fares and fees continue to creep upward. Booking early will help you avoid this steady price increase. If you haven't booked your holiday flight, especially for Thanksgiving, now would be the time to do it. After you read these tips, of course.

Fly the Day-Of or in the Early Morning: If possible, fly in or out on the actual holiday rather than the busy travel days before and after. Doing so can save you 20 to 40 percent on your airfare. If you don't have that kind of flexibility, book the first flight out. Flights earlier in the day tend to have less delays and offer you the option of hopping on another flight if your plans go awry.

Expect the Unexpected: Take some time to do some research on hotels or alternative travel options well before you travel. You'll be more prepared in case your flight is delayed or cancelled. If using only a carry-on bag isn't an option, pack your essentials (medication, glasses, chargers, etc.) and a change of clothes in a carry-on bag in case your luggage is lost or delayed.

Ship Presents Ahead: Ship gifts ahead of time instead of time rather than bringing them with you. UPS, FedEx and the U.S. Postal Service offer package insurance, delivery guarantees and tracking services that airlines don't. Gifts that are brought to the airport already wrapped may be unwrapped by airport security.

Pack a Snack: Unlike liquids, food can generally be brought through security. Pack healthy, easy-to-carry snacks to stave off the crankiness that comes with hunger. Airport snacks tend to be expensive, so bringing your own can help save some money as well. Check with your airline to ensure what snacks and in what packaging can be brought through security. A filled water bottle won't make it past a TSA agent these days, but an empty one is just fine. Fill it up at a water fountain on the other side.

Don't be a Grinch: Negative energy begets negative energy. When problems arise, it's easy to take out your frustration on the nearest employee. Oftentimes, the problem is completely out of their control. Keep in mind that while you are trying to get to your family, they are away from theirs during the most stressful travel time of the year. Take a deep breath and express your frustrations in a constructive manner. Plus, these employees are more likely to go out of their way to help someone who is treating them with kindness than someone who is screaming in their face. The same can be said for how you should treat your fellow passengers.

Consider Alternate Means of Travel: Depending on your destination, taking the train or the bus could be more cost effective and take the same amount of time as flying when you factor in traveling to and from the airport, going through security and any possible layovers.