Between Thanksgiving and Christmas/New Year’s, long-distance trips increase by 54 percent, and another 23 percent between Christmas and New Year’s alone, compared to the rest of the year. With this much coming and going, it’s really important to be prepared so that everyone arrives at their destinations safely and with as little stress as possible.
Statistics show that about 5 to 6 percent of holiday travel is by air, so let’s look at a few holiday traveling tips for surviving the flight.
Holiday traveling Tips for the Plane
• As best as possible, try to book your flights two or three days before and after the holiday, and book direct flights with no or few stopovers or connecting flights.
• Where possible, arrange for a friend to drop you off at the airport or take a shuttle.
• If you take your car, remember to hide all valuables and keep a set of booster cables in the trunk in the event your battery dies while you’re away.
• Call before you leave for the airport even if the weather is good to find out if there are any delays in departure or any of your connecting flights.
• Arrive early. “Domestic travelers should arrive ... two hours prior to departure ... international travelers should arrive three hours prior.” (TravelSense.org)
• Send your gifts ahead by courier or mail. If you’re taking gifts with you on the flight, make sure they’re unwrapped. Take gifts bags and tissue paper with you to wrap when you arrive at your destination.
• Be mentally prepared for setbacks, but maintain a positive attitude, and come prepared for boredom and delays.
• Remember the TSA 3-1-1 policy: “Liquids, aerosols and gels must be contained in three ounces or less; items must be put in a one quart, clear plastic zip-top bag; and, only one sip-top bag per passenger” (Transportation Security Administration).
• Know what items are on the TSA’s prohibited list to save time through check-in.
Holiday travel driving tips
Even though most of the travel tips are for air travelers, as mentioned only 5 to 6 percent of traveling during the holidays is done by air.