Everything You Need to Know About Holiday Travel

Whether it’s to escape the cold, visit family, or head to a new or favorite destination, the holidays are a magical time of the year for a getaway. Holiday travel, though, is all about the destination and not necessarily the journey. That’s because no matter what your mode of travel—planes, trains, automobiles, or a cruise—’tis the season for higher fares, travel congestion, inclement weather, flight delays, grumpy kids and the least favorite, lost baggage. Here are a few ways to make your travel as fuss-free as possible.

Plan Ahead
Travel experts will tell you, the best way to get the most value for your travel budget is to book early. Not only will you get a better price, but also a better room selection for your hotel, resort or cruise. Some plan their vacation a year in advance to get the room category and flight itinerary they desire.

Be Flexible
Believe it or not, traveling a day or two before or after the peak travel dates can make all the difference. For instance, instead of heading out on December 23 or 24, leaving on the 21st or even Christmas day could help alleviate a lot of your travel woes. Think a chance for better fares and a lot less airport crowd.

Benefit from Payment Plans
While almost all airlines want you to pay for your ticket upfront, most hotels, cruise lines, and tour operators are flexible and allow you to book with some money down and make payments.

Go Off-the-Beaten-Path
Warmer locations like the Caribbean and Mexico, and family-friendly spots like Disney are always popular for the holiday season. Spend the week in places like Budapest or Prague instead. These beautiful and affordable European gems have all the charm of top destinations with excellent food, breathtaking architecture, and resplendent holiday spirit. There’s nothing quite like soaking in one of Budapest’s many thermal baths for the holidays.

Consider Getting a Travel Insurance
The holiday season is a great time to err on the side of caution. With all the predictable chaos surrounding travel—flight cancellations, inclement weather, flu season, lost baggage—it may be a great idea to indulge in getting yourself that much-coveted peace of mind with a travel insurance.

Now that you’re past planning your trip, here are a few things to keep in mind when it’s actually time to travel:

  • Carrying gifts? Wrap them at your destination, carry gift bags or better yet consider giving gift cards—always appreciated, never returned!
  • Pack light. You don’t want to deal with excess baggage, and you also want room for souvenirs and gifts on your way back.
  • Keep an eye on the weather and be ready for last-minute itinerary changes.
  • Carry extra copies of your travel documents.
  • Flights get full and are often overbooked – get to the airport early to avoid getting bumped from your flight.
  • Allow plenty of extra time to get to the airport, find parking, check in, and get through security.
  • Bring your holiday spirit along! Be kind to your fellow passengers, airport employees, and flight crew. Remember, you’re all in it together.

If you’re ready to plan your holiday getaway. call your travel agent today for the best rates, great itineraries, and expert advice for all your travel needs, then take a look at how the Big Guy, himself, likes to kick back and relax: