This article was published on December 15th, 2019
The holidays are upon us now, the madness is set to begin in a few weeks, and if you are (or even if you are not) a fan of the holiday season, there is simply no getting around it. It might be the most magical time of the year, but it also has the potential to be the most stressful, especially when it comes to traveling during the holidays. Armed with The HomoCulture’s Holiday Travel Survival Tips, we are here with a survival kit that aims to make the season a little less chaotic.
1. Preparation Is Key
One of the golden rules to surviving the holidays is being prepared, understanding that chaos is bound to ensue no matter how organized you are, and to be able to handle the problems as they arise. At the end of the day (and season), only the strongest will survive through all the lines, delays, and other starts and stops that may occur along the way. It’s also helpful to use the HomoCulture gaycation travel packing list!
2. Get Phone Ready
Since you inevitably will be on it quite a bit, make sure that your phone is fully charged and holds all of the necessary contact names, phone numbers, apps, and itineraries that you will need. Remember to bring your
3. Make a Friend of Holiday Packages
With the holiday season being so competitive, there are plenty of companies out there vying for your money. Do yourself a favor and find the best deals for hotel and flight packages.
4. Find the Alternate Airports
If you are willing to drive a bit further to the smaller airports in or near where you are, you can expect fewer delays and more affordable options. This includes not just flights, but also on transfers and rental cars too.
5. Traveling on Off-Peak Days
The majority of people prefer to fly on the most conventional days, but if you have the opportunity to travel on off-peak days, search for off-peak flights for better prices. Earlier or late flights are typically the best, and the best part is that you won’t have to subject yourself or family members to long lines.
6. Respect Airport Time
You don’t want to lose your flight because you didn’t give yourself more time for any unexpected incidents. Instead, aim for arriving at the airport up to three ours before your scheduled flight and significantly reduce your stress levels. Use these airline travel tips.
7. Fly Direct
You can avoid connection delays by flying direct, so always do so if possible. If flying direct isn’t possible, pay attention to the weather conditions on the day that you travel.
8. Avoid Airline Counters
When possible, always check in online and print your tickets out. No one wants to deal with ticket counters and agents that have zero tolerance for your questions, requests, and mood.
9. Reserve Parking at the Airport
Reserve parking spaces at the airport in advance to ensure that you don’t miss any possible connecting flights and grab the best prices online. Be sure to check if it is more affordable to park your vehicle or go by Uber or taxi. Alternately, see if a friend is willing to drop you off or take public transit.
10. Road Trip
Many people hate flying so much that they opt to drive. If this sounds up your alley, then hit the highways and save even more money compared to using airlines. Download the Google Maps app and find the fastest routes to your destination. Before heading out on the road it’s best to do a car safety and maintenance check, too.
11. Christmas Day Traveling
If you travel on Christmas day, you are sure to get some of the best prices of the season, plus the airports will be nearly empty.
12. Maximize Your Reward Points
The holiday season is a great time of the year to cash in your reward points for those flight deals, hotel discounts, and upgrades. If you research a month or two early, you will be surprised at how much you can save.
If you know you are flying, definitely look into travel insurance, especially if you are bringing gifts on the flight. If possible, however, mail gifts beforehand or have Amazon deliver them as you want to travel as light as possible.
No matter what happens, try to remain calm and smile through the unexpected delays, rude travelers you encounter, and lack of customer service. Be nice, patient, and kind, and the holiday travel season will be more a dream than a nightmare.