As of the date of this writing, there are exactly 24 day days until Thanksgiving Day in the United States, and 55 days until Christmas. That means–among other things–that the holiday season is very quickly approaching. And while early Christmas lights going up on your neighbors’ lawns might not be much of a concern for you, if you plan on traveling this holiday season, you have something more to be concerned about: holiday travel woes.
Thankfully, there are some actions you can take to avoid the holiday travel blues this year. Here are a few of the best tips.
Still have a few vacation days saved up from earlier in the year? Consider embarking to go see your relatives a bit earlier this year. The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is one of the most popular flight dates of the year, as are the days immediately leading up to Christmas. To avoid these hassles, consider flying a few days early to beat the lines and the incredibly hiked-up prices.
If you’re not so lucky to be able to fly a few days early, at least book a flight early in the day. That way in the event that you’re bumped from the flight or it gets canceled you’ve got the opportunity to catch a same-day flight a bit later in the afternoon.
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The website Hipmunk is going to get another shoutout in one of my blogs here. If you’re going to be flying around the holiday season you’re certainly shooting yourself in the foot if you’re not spending some time comparing flights and making sure to choose the one that fits you, your schedule and your financial constraints the most. An additional benefit of Hipmunk that might come in handy particularly during the holiday season is the site’s ability to sort flight’s by the proprietary metric called “agony,” an amalgamation of price, layovers, flight time and departure time.
This one should go without saying too much. What time do you normally arrive at the airport for a 6 p.m. flight? Great, now get there two hours earlier than that. The lines are long during the holiday season, the people are more insufferable and you’re not going to enjoy your time spent in the airport. But it will be much worse if you’re forced to wait in a line for 3 extra hours because you got there a bit late.
This should be done in preparation for just about every flight, truth be told, but the stakes are a bit higher during the holidays. A normal flight might have a crying baby, but consider the fact that families fly on holidays. It’s not just women on business trips with their laptops and briefcases or couples going on vacation. It’s families flying across the country, and babies more often than not are along for the trip.
The biggest piece of advice I can offer you for flying over the holidays is simply to remain calm. Remain in a stable mindset knowing that the holidays are approaching and, even if you do have a hectic time flying, the holidays are great times to spend evenings with your loved ones and be merry. Following all these tips this holiday season will more than likely leave you something to be thankful for come November 24.