The ultimate guide to flying over the holidays
The holidays are right around the corner, and so are fun times with family and friends. If you live out of town, though, your first step is planning your travels. Worried that delayed flights or missing luggage putting a damper on your holiday cheer? Don’t stress out, you guys; we’ve got this one!
Check out our top holiday travel tips for flights that are smoother than eggnog…
Hunt for deals
Once you have your travel dates more or less picked out, start checking prices. They’ll rise and fall throughout the weeks leading up to your flights, but the general consensus is that prices are lowest on Tuesdays.
You can also set up alerts on your phone with popular sites such as Kayak. You’ll receive notifications whenever prices go down, so you won’t miss the potential savings.
Avoid popular travel dates
Historically, the day before Thanksgiving is the busiest travel day of the year. Other in-demand days are December 23rd and the Sundays before and after the holiday. If your travel dates are at all flexible, choosing other days will help you find cheaper flights. And the airports will be less hectic, always a plus!
Give yourself a cushion
No, not a neck cushion (although those are pretty awesome for catching some shut-eye). We’re talking about a time cushion.
Canceled flights, overbooked flights, and inclement weather are always a possibility. So if you absolutely have to arrive by a specific date, give yourself extra time to get there, instead of flying in the night before or the morning of.
Check out alternative airports
One of our favorite holiday travel tips is to look for smaller airports. Most people fly out of the biggest airports. But some of the alternative ones might be just a quick Uber or Lyft ride away and offer cheaper, less crowded flights.
Be flexible with your times
Late morning and mid-afternoon are ideal travel times. You get to sleep in but still arrive before nightfall. For that reason, those flights fill up fast and seats are usually more expensive. If you want to save money, look into some early morning or late night flights. Maybe even consider the dreaded red-eye?
Add in extra travel time
Regardless of which flight you choose, the airport is guaranteed to be busy. Getting there tight on time is a sure way to make your blood pressure skyrocket. Parking will be more difficult, the security line will be longer… you guys know the drill. And new airport procedures can eat right into your already tight timeline.
Save your stress and get to the airport super early. You can always kill time at the airport bar!
Don’t bring wrapped gifts
In fact, try not to bring gifts at all. Buy them online and ship them straight to your final destination, or ship them to your airport/Airbnb/wherever you’re staying with LugLess.
But if you have to bring gifts with you, fly with them unwrapped. There’s always a chance that TSA will make you unwrap them, so why have to go through the trouble twice?
Don’t get hangry
The holidays are known for being food fests, so we get why you might be tempted to hold back on the snacks whenever you can. But travel dates are not the time to diet!
Airlines won’t provide much, even on long flights. Bring healthy snacks that’ll keep your blood sugar (and mood) stable. Think protein bars, fruit, nuts and seeds, etc.
Busy airports? Loud. Flights with kids and babies? Even louder. Noise-canceling headphones are a life-saver. Pop ‘em in and listen to your favorite tunes, podcast, or movie.
The Boy Scout motto is also one of the best holiday travel tips. Be prepared for whatever happens. Have a book or magazine in case your flight is delayed. Bring a change of clothes in your carry-on in case your luggage doesn’t make it. And always have a refillable water bottle with you.
Inhale. Exhale. Remember why you’re flying: holidays are awesome and you’ll be spending time with the people you love the most. And that more than makes up for the jam-packed airport scene and a crowded, expensive flight!
Bonus Tip: ship your stuff
Baggage claim will be just as crowded as the rest of the airport. Save time (and stress!) by shipping your luggage to your Airbnb or hotel (or parents’ house!) with LugLess. For less than the average price of a checked bag, you can make your holiday travel smooth and hassle-free!
Flying over the holidays is notoriously frustrating, but it doesn’t have to be. Our top holiday travel tips will get you and your Ugly Christmas Sweater back home, stress-free.
Safe travels and happy holidays!