Each year, along with the happy holiday season also comes the dreaded holiday travel. But don’t let the long lines at the airport or the crowded roads to grandmother’s house get you down! Whether you are traveling by plane, train or automobile, we are sharing some top tips to help keep you in the holiday spirit during this busy travel season.
Do your research
While it may seem like a given, if you are flying this year be sure to check the airline’s restrictions ahead of time on things like gate closures, carry-on luggage rules and fees for checked bags. If you are traveling by car, consider planning alternate routes if traffic seems too overwhelming. Take the scenic route! Or, break up a long drive by finding new places to stop.
Be sure to charge your electronic devices ahead of time so you are prepared for delays. Also, stock up on the latest travel apps before you leave home. Flight Status gives you real-time updates on delays, baggage numbers and more. GateGuru gives you approximate times you’ll spend in security. On the road again? Find the cheapest gas and the cleanest bathrooms with apps like GasBuddy.
If possible, avoid checking bags altogether. This way you won’t have to wait for your luggage on the conveyor belt and you won’t have to worry about your mother-in-law’s present getting lost in the airport. If you do have to check a bag, just be sure to have all your medications, important documents and a change of clothes in your carry-on in case your luggage gets lost.
Pack earplugs or headphones
One of the best ways to mentally escape a stressful situation is to tune it out. The easiest way to do that is with earplugs or headphones. Crying baby next to you on the flight? Earplugs! Brother’s music driving you bananas on the car ride? Headphones! For extra relaxation, try packing an eye mask to catch some quick zzz’s.
Don’t get hangry
Is there anything worse than traveling on an empty stomach? To avoid paying $15 for an airport sandwich, be sure to pack snacks and drinks for you and your family. Quick tip: Pack an empty water bottle to fill up on the other side of security.
Ship gifts beforehand
TSA suggests shipping wrapped gifts ahead of time to avoid having them damaged or lost in baggage check. If bringing gifts is a must, be sure not to wrap them, as TSA may have to unwrap them for inspection.
Travel on off-peak days
Traveling on the holiday itself can help you avoid long lines and hoards of travelers. You may even find better ticket rates, as most travelers have already arrived by the holiday.
Travel early or late in the day
Flight statistics show that planes traveling earlier in the day have a better on-time performance. And if your flight is cancelled, you will have the option of taking a flight later in the day. Also, there will be fewer lines at security. Best time to hit the road? When everyone else is asleep – early morning or late at night. You can always take a nap when you arrive at your destination or on the ride there.
Plan for the unexpected
Traveling somewhere snowy? Think ahead and plan accordingly. Leave extra time before flights to deal with security and extra time between connections. If driving, be sure to allow extra time for driving in poor conditions and be sure to pack an emergency kit.
Berardi Immigration Law wishes all of our clients a safe and happy holiday season! If you are crossing the border and have questions, please contact our office to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today!