From this week all the way through New Year’s Holiday Travel is going to be a mess. The best thing you can do is prepare yourself for all the chaos and delays that our great American airports have to offer as people rush to thier holiday desinations.
Here are 10 travel tips that will help you survive the Holidays:
- Check Traffic before you leave for the airport. Sure, leaving early is one thing, but sometimes we can’t anticipate for what’s happening on the roads. So make sure you have done your research hours before you have to leave.
- Travel Apps are your best friend. Make sure you have your airline on tap, as well as Apps like FlightStatus and GateGuru.
- Don’t check a bag!! I know, you are going to spend a week with your parents- you need to bring every thing you ever owned to stunt on your cousins, and in case you run into that ex from high school… but if you can avoid checking a bag you have just cut lots of time off of your travel day. If you are going home, or even to a hotel, think of the things you can buy there in travel size or even do with out for a few days
- TSA precheck. This is something you can enroll in now, for some of your December travel. Trust me it will be the best 90 dollars you have ever spent. Also if you are an avid traveler that has not gotten their Global Entry Pass… you need to get on that ASAP, saving you so much time and hassle down the line.
- Don’t get hangry! Ever notice that every thing is worse when you are hungry? lines seem longer, people seem more annoying, waits are more miserable than they need to be. Plus food makes every thing better. So make sure you pack snacks and fill up with water so every one is happy during your journey. It’s also going to cost you much less than buying anything at the airport terminal.
- Ship your gifts! Sending them weeks before and not packing them is ideal. Yes this also means you have to have them early, but its worth it. You can also have some shipped directly from the store or online. Another idea, not nearly as personal, but who does love a fully loaded gift card!
- Proper footwear. If you are not in that TSA-Pre line, all shoes must be removed and scanned. I know this sounds like a small thing, but its essentially to getting through security lines quickly. The security line isn’t a fashion week catwalk — wear slip-on shoes if possible, and don’t forget your socks! Also remove or pack all jewelry, belts, hats, and jackets, keys, and any items — even paper tickets and money — from your pockets as these can inhibit the walk-through scanner image.
- Avoid Peak Travel days and times. The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is the biggest travel day of the year, and the most troublesome. So if you can fly early on the actual day, you could save yourself some hassle. Traveling on the actual holiday helps you avoid long lines and loads of congestion. Also the time of day matters, flight stats show that planes traveling earlier in the day have a better on time performance.
- Electronics. Nearly anything today from a pen to a wristwatch can be a computer or phone. What goes into the bin? According to TSA: Laptops, video game consoles, CPAP machines, DVD players and video cameras that use cassettes require inspection. Smaller items like iPads, iPhones, and cameras do not need to be separated, but if in doubt go ahead and put them in.
- Try to Relax. The crying baby next to you on the plane, the delayed flights, the luggage that fell off in the middle of the highway? They will all make for great stories over dinner when you finally make it to your destination. After all, holiday travel stress is just as much of a tradition as pumpkin pie and nagging relatives.