Traveling during the Christmas season seems like an overwhelming and frightening idea. During this time of the year, airports are packed, prices skyrocket and most of us are running around in a constant state of panic.
However, I have some great news. Traveling during the Christmas season can be absolutely wonderful.
The tricks outlined in this article provide a wealth of information that will help you navigate holiday travel safer while also saving you time, money and stress.
Avoid Peak Travel Days
One of the key ways to avoid the stress of traveling during the Christmas season is to avoid the peak travel dates. It is a simple trick that not only saves you time but also money. Simply choose to start your travels a few days earlier - before the madness of Christmas travel begins.
The crowds are smaller, the prices are lower and the flights are easier to select. If possible, at all cost avoid traveling the day before or on Christmas Eve. Also make sure to plan your return trip a couple days before or after New Year’s Eve.
Roads and airports are still rather busy when traveling a few days before or after the peak travel days, however, they are significantly less crowded, and you will have an easier time getting to your destination.
The less you carry, the quicker you are able to move through the airport, train terminals, taxis and busy streets. Plus, the less you have to lose.
If you are flying, try to fit everything in your carry-on. Airports are hectic at this time of the year with thousands of people passing through them every day. By fitting everything into a carry-on, you greatly reduce the chance of losing luggage. It also allows you to skip the lines of people waiting to check bags as well as the crowds at baggage claim. Going "carry-on only" lets you scurry out of the airport, escape the crowds, and claim a taxi first. You will be long gone before the other passengers even get their luggage.
Also, if you are transporting presents, consider mailing them to your destination beforehand. Simply said, reducing the amount of luggage you are carrying means cost and stress decrease and comfort and relaxation increase.
Research Your Route
Whether you are driving or flying during the Christmas holidays, it pays to research alternative ways to your destination. Look for various routes that are less busy. While it may appear to take a little longer, you are more likely to skip unexpected traffic jams and arrive at your destination sooner. Doing your research also applies to flying.
Try to book a direct ticket without any layovers. Layovers are always a hassle but during winter holidays, they can become a nightmare. Direct flights are quicker and normally stress free. If layovers are unavoidable, try to pick a layover airport that isn’t a major travel hub or in an area with notoriously bad weather. It will be less crowded and easier to navigate and you have a greater chance of skipping delays.
Snacks might sound silly, but they are important. There is nothing that raises our stress levels more than being stuck in traffic with a hungry family. Our stress levels soar and tensions rise and if we are not careful, that hunger will lead to anger. This is not a good way to start our holiday. Pack snacks to keep your blood sugar up and your blood pressure down. Your family will be much happier and less stressed out.
Flights and hotels fill up quickly during the holidays, especially at popular holiday vacation spots.
If the very thought of booking your Christmas flights or hotels stresses you out, book early and be done with it. Remember, there is a good chance that prices for plane tickets and hotels are only going to increase the closer it is to your ideal travel days.
Making reservations months in advance provides you with more opportunities, greater selection and savings that can add up to hundreds of dollars in some cases.
Pick the Right Departure Time
Driving early in the morning or extremely late in the evening is a great way to avoid traffic and make good time. It's peaceful, quiet and most likely, you will have open roads for the entire journey.
The same is true with flying. Very early or late flights are cheaper and less crowded. The calmer airports are an added bonus as well. Fewer lines means less time wasted.
Traveling during Christmas does not have to be stressful and now that you are armed with these helpful tips, you can travel during the Christmas season stress-free and focus on enjoying your family throughout the holiday.
From all of us at RoamRight, Happy Holidays and Safe Travels.
Take even more stress out of the holidays and stay protected with travel insurance. Learn more about our policies here!