There's plenty to love about the holidays. Getting together with friends and family, spending time with loved ones, exchanging gifts, eating great food, are all part of the season and all loved by those who participate. But what isn't loved by most is obvious - Christmas travel.As people head home for the holidays, it can lead to congested roads, long lines at the airport, and much more. To prepare for this, it's a good idea to get the hang of some easy tips that can simplify your Christmas travel. We've put together a list of a few things to keep in mind as the season approaches and you start to make your holiday travel plans. They could remove those holiday headaches and get you where you need to go without all the hassle.
Shop Prices - Don't just settle on the first price and first ticket you find when you're looking to travel. Whether it's comparing airlines, bus tickets, or even rental cars, try to spend a bit of time shopping around first. It will pay off in a big way and save you money overall.
Avoid Peak Dates - Specific peak dates may change slightly, but you can expect certain dates to be busier than others as the holiday approaches. Try to travel a day earlier or a day later than these peak times to avoid crowds, delays, and other hassles that can arise.
Package Deals Matter - The internet makes it easier to identify potential package deals that could save you money. Check packages that include air and hotel or airfare and rental car costs. It can reduce costs but could also save money as well.
Avoid Peak Times - Just as peak dates have higher numbers of travelers, so do peak times. Early, early morning flights or late-night ones often mean fewer people will be on board and can help you avoid crowds.
Ship Ahead - If you're bringing gifts with you and are buying online, why not ship them directly to the destination you're traveling to? You'll reduce your luggage, pesky luggage fees and limitations, the risk of lost gifts, and save yourself a ton of hassle.
Use Tech Shortcuts - Tech shortcuts like boarding passes printed at home or using your smartphone to board your flight can help you pass over the long lines and get you to where you're going faster.
Pack Smart - If it's possible, try to fit all that you can into your carry-on bag and avoid baggage checking. It's a better option and one that ensures you can hurry through the gates. Also, be sure to package your liquids properly - or better yet, leave them at home.
Leave Early - Sadly, the reality is that even if you take all the steps above you could still end up stuck in traffic, lines, or more. Plenty of small delays may come up and could slow you down. Leave early to make sure you don't miss your flight.
Pack Just In Case Items - Snacks, a pillow, and some kind of entertainment for any wait times - books, portable DVD players, a laptop, or a smartphone, for instance. This way you can keep your sanity if you end up with long lines and delays.
Stay Calm - Above all else, be sure that you stay calm throughout everything. Problems may arise, but losing your cool could end up making things worse and delay you even further.