‘Tis the season for holiday love and cheer, but nothing can put a damper on that seasonal joy like holiday travel. If your clients are flying or driving to your holiday destination, stress and delays are always a concern. Share these holiday travel tips with your clients to help them maintain the holiday cheer while traveling this season:
Stick to a carry-on bag if possible
Checking a bag at the airport means more lines, a longer time waiting at baggage claim and sometimes lost bags. If you can, stick to only one carry-on bag for holiday travel. Be sure your bag fits into the carry-on guidelines for each airline so you don’t get saddled with excess or oversize fees. If traveling with young kids, give them a backpack for their carry-on as opposed to a roller bag, which could slow everyone down between flights.
Don’t forget these carry-on essentials
With all the people flying during the holiday season, lost or delayed luggage will be a possibility. If you are checking bags, be sure to also bring a carry-on bag full of essentials in the case your luggage arrives at your destination after you. Pack these important items in a carry-on before your flight: a toothbrush and toothpaste, travel pillow, snacks, a portable battery to charge your phone, a change of clothes and any medications.
Ship your gifts
Gift boxes and presents are cumbersome to carry around in the airport and take up a lot of valuable space in luggage. With the high costs of checking a bag on most airlines and the possibility of damage, you’d be better off shipping gifts beforehand. Here’s a helpful list of shipping deadlines during the holidays. If you aren’t able to ship your presents, don’t wrap them before you arrive at your destination. Airport security will likely need to see inside boxes and bags and will remove the wrapping.
Get a ride to the airport
This time of the year, airport parking is even more of a headache than normal. Not only do you have to pay the high price to leave your car while you’re away, finding a parking spot and waiting for the transport bus could make you late for your flight. Save money and time by finding a friend that can drive you to the airport, or use Uber or a local taxi service. Schedule the pick up at least two or three hours before your flight is set to board; better safe than sorry.
Go over new TSA rules before the airport
Few things can put a damper on holiday cheer like a bad experience in the TSA line. This holiday season, TSA is rolling forward a new rule about electronics in carry-on bags. Browse the list of items that can and can’t be brought through the security checkpoint. While you’re on the site, consider signing up for TSA PreCheck, so you can get in shorter lines at security.
Bring an extra empty bag for your return trip
Undoubtedly, over the course of your trip, you’ll collect gifts and other items to bring back home from family and friends. Don’t run into a space problem on your return flight. Throw an empty, compressible bag in your luggage to hold your new goodies for the trip home. If you receive any large items or an item that isn’t allowed on an airplane, have it shipped!
Consider travel by train
While this might not be an option for everyone traveling this holiday season, traveling by train is a cheaper and less stressful option for some. You can find if Amtrak can take you to your destinations on their website here. Not only will you avoid clogged roadways and busy airports, your family will get to experience the beauty of traveling by train. Extra bonus, you can check two 50 lb bags for free with Amtrak in addition to your two carry-on items.
Drive later in the day
If part of your holiday travel involves a road trip, plan to leave later in the day. Many families think heading out in the morning will help them avoid traffic and congested roadways. However, the roads will be much less crowded at night during the holiday season.Try to avoid leaving on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve, if possible, as these will be some of the busiest travel days of the year.
Don’t forget to contact your bank
Credit card fraud is rampant during the holiday season, and many banks will be keeping an extra eye out for unusual charges. To avoid having your card frozen while traveling, call your bank or inform them through their mobile app of the dates you’ll be traveling on and your destination. They’ll put a travel flag on your account so you won’t run into any problems with your card during your trip.