Some things are universal and the stress of holiday travel is one of them. Whether you are driving to New York City on business or heading to Florida for a family vacation, long lines, large crowds, traffic and lots of chaos characterize the holiday travel season. That’s why we’ve put together a list of five tips for surviving holiday travel stress free.
- Pack Light: Checking bags at the counter and waiting for them at baggage claim after your flight can literally add hours to your travel time. Plus, the risk of losing something along the way is greater when you can’t keep track of your own bags. Try to minimize the number of bags you are traveling with so you can skip a few lines at the airport. If you are traveling with holiday gifts, ship them to your destination in advance to save yourself some hassle.
- Label EVERYTHING – Put your name, phone number and even email on all of your bags, but don’t stop there. If you will be carrying a laptop or tablet onto the plane that you intend to use during the flight, make sure you put a label on it as well. Each year millions of electronics are left in the seat back pockets of planes and forgotten. Without being able to unlock them or differentiate them from one another, the airline has no way of returning them to you once you leave.
- Early Check In – If you frequently travel for business you probably already know that you can check in up to 24 hours in advance for your flight. Most airlines now have mobile apps or other online services that allow you to get through the airport without printing your tickets. Simply bring up your ticket on your mobile device and they can scan the ticket directly from the screen. (Make sure your phone has plenty of charge to make it through the day!)
- Reserve Your Car Service Early – Even large private car services only have so many of each type of vehicle on their lot. During the holidays, many SUVs and family oriented vehicles are scooped up early. If you don’t make your reservation early enough you could end up in a car that isn’t the right fit for your needs. If you are looking for a luxury or executive vehicle for business travel you need to call ahead and make sure they have exactly what you are looking for.
- Have a Backup Plan – Not only are there extra long lines at the airport and tons of delays to be faced, the reality is that weather conditions during the holidays are notoriously hairy. Surviving holiday travel means preparing for the worst, and having a plan to reach your destination if a flight is cancelled or pushed back so far that you can’t catch your connection. Remember, the airlines will already be overwhelmed checking in new passengers, so it could be a while before they can help you get on another flight. Take a deep breath and be prepared to wait it out.
The key to surviving holiday travel is being prepared to handle the stress of the situation and knowing how to navigate through the airport with as few stops as possible. If you can quickly pass over the check in counter, avoid checking bags and go straight through security with just your cell phone and ID, you will be well on your way. From there it’s just a matter of making sure you leave the plane with everything you had at the beginning and hopefully avoiding any weather delays.Book Now