Traveling this holiday season? Well, you’re definitely not the only one. The holiday season is the busiest and most hectic time of the year to travel. It can all be a little stressful with delays, long lines and busy crowds. We’ve got you covered with our holiday travel hacks to make getting to where you’re going a cinch.
1. Start looking for tickets early.
The earlier you book your holiday travel, the more money you’ll save to use for awesome gifts. Don’t pay for procrastination! Plus, looking for your tickets early allows you to take advantage of sales as they come up throughout the fall. Black Friday and Cyber Monday can be a great time to buy holiday tickets and flights for winter travel.
2. Book early morning or evening flights if possible.
The airport will be less crowded very early and very late, saving you time and stress. Plus, these flights are often a little cheaper, so it’s a win-win. Even better? Early morning flights (we’re talking pre-8-a.m.) are the less likely to be delayed.
3. Consider flying into a nearby airport to save time or money.
If you live in a big city with multiple airports, consider flying into a smaller nearby airport for the holidays. Small airports usually have less crowds and tend to be way less stressful during the holidays. If you live in a small town, it can sometimes be cheaper to fly into a large airport in the nearest city, since large airports have more flights available. Check both to see which is the best deal for you!
4. Give yourself plenty of time.
We know, we know: *usually* you can get to the airport an hour and a half before your flight and shimmy onto your flight right on time. But everything takes longer during the holidays, so just plan ahead and save yourself the stress. Give yourself extra time to go through check-in and security—and give yourself some extra time to get to the airport, too.
5. Save time at the airport by prepping in advance.
Airport lines are long any time of the year, but they’re notoriously bad during the holidays. Make your check-in process as smooth as possible by prepping everything in advance. Check in online and print your boarding pass before you leave so you can skip the long check-in lines. Put your laptop and any liquids you have in an easily accessible place in your carry-on, so you can get them out quickly at security. Wear shoes that are easy to slip off and on. The more you can prep in advance, the easier your check-in process will be!
6. Pack light.
It’s always a good rule, but especially important during the holidays. Overweight baggage fees are hefty and a serious downer, so weigh your bag before you leave and pack light. Keep in mind too that if you’re traveling home for the holidays, you might return to school with gifts or extra winter clothes. It’s a good idea to leave space for those in your luggage, if possible. And at any rate, packing light can save you a ton of time: skip checking a bag and you get to skip the long bag drop and baggage carousel lines.
7. Make sure all of your devices are charged before you leave!
It’s basic, but you know all the airport outlets will be taken. You don’t want to be that person wandering around the airport for an hour looking an outlet. Plus, there are a lot of delays and cancellations during holiday season so it’s a good idea to keep your phone charged in case of any mishaps.
What holiday travel hacks do you use? Share them with us in the comments below!