The holidays are just around the corner, and we’re sharing our favorite holiday travel tips for keeping in the holiday spirit while braving the airports. The combination of large crowds and travelers’ trying to get to their families in time can result in a harrowing airport experience. But there are things you can do to prevent stressful airport episodes from occurring.
Book tickets and accommodations in advance.
It’s no surprise that airlines and hotels get booked quickly during the busy holiday season, but also keep in mind that car rentals and transportation to and from the airport should be arranged ahead of time. If you’re traveling last minute, be as flexible as possible and look into flying during non-peak hours or using a connecting flight or alternate airport.
Arrive at the airport early.
Allow extra time for traffic. Remember, airport parking lots can fill up very quickly, so finding a spot can be difficult. Holiday travelers often have to park in alternate lots and take shuttle service to the terminal. Long lines and crowds will also slow you down and with the possibility of airlines overselling flights, if you check in late you are likely to get bumped.
Know baggage limits and keep gifts unwrapped in case of an inspection.
Security is heightened during peak travel times, so packages are inspected more frequently. Be sure to tag all carry-on and checked baggage. For added safety, only write your work phone number and address. It’s also important to inquire about baggage limits since they can vary according to airline, type of aircraft and destination.
Passengers who get bumped have rights.
In the event your flight is overbooked, the Department of Transportation (DOT) requires carriers to provide passengers with a written statement explaining their rights. These rights can include alternate travel arrangements and compensation if the new arrival time is more than one hour later than the originally scheduled time. Check the small print of your ticket voucher or with the desk agent to learn more.
Keep a constant watch of all belongings.
Pickpockets love crowds. Always be mindful of your surroundings and keep a close watch on all of your belongings, including tickets, watches and wallets.
Have some holiday travel tips of your own? We’d love to read them in the comments below.