Holiday traveling can be a hectic time for families and travelers of every kind. First, you have to make all the plans for the airport, the rental car, and lodging, then you have to worry about getting to your destination on time. However, by following these following tips, you’ll find that holiday traveling is a breeze and something that you actually look forward to.
It’s a good idea to research your flight schedule ahead of time to see what prices have done in the past ninety days. On search engines like kayak.com, you can serach your destination and dates with a chart that shows how prices have risen and fallen on your chosen route over the past ninety days. Another search engine farecast.com, goes even a step further calculating what the price will do for that particular route for the next seven days. Other search engines and websites let you plug in the price point that you are looking for and the website will search and alert you when the price has been found. However, with holiday traveling coming up,Ã‚Â it’s probably best to book whatever price sounds reasonable. Usually flight fill up quickly around this time of year so take the chance while you still have it.
Travel Date Flexibility
Recently travel websites have given their customer the option to auickly check fares over rangeÃ‚Â of dates. This feature will allow you to choose which dates best suit your needs and budget. Sometimes justÃ‚Â changing your date by a day or two can prove to save you substantial amounts of money. For example, it’s not a good idea to fly on Mondays or on Fridays, because this is when most business professionals fly and the airlines usually charge aÃ‚Â higher fare because of this. Arrange your travel dates to happen mid-week whether you are coming or going to allow for savings on flight fare.
Air and Hotel Packages
The first goal is to just find a flight that is reasonably prices, but if after a few tries searching for low fares you still don’t have any results, consider booking your air and hotel together at sites like expedia.com or lastminute.com. These sites have buil-in features that allow travelers to bundle together their airfare and hotel costs at one low price. Sometimes the package that you book will be about the same price as just booking the airfare with the flight company. This is a great way at looking at savings. This way you are practically getting your hotel stay for free!
Choose Flight Times Wisely
There are essentially three ways to help avoid delays and help save you money when you are flying. First, Try to fly first thing in the morning or late at night. Most travelers aren’t willing to travel so early or so late and flights are less busy at this time. You will also see a drop in price because airlines are trying to fill up these flights. Second, try to book a non-stop flight. This won’t necessarily save you money, but it will definitely save you wait time and the chance of being delayed. This option is suited more towards the traveler that has a time limit on traveling. This option also leaves you less likely that things will get lost, like luggage. Third, try to book your flight to fly in and out of less crowded airports. For example, if you are flying to California and flying into LAX, your flight will cost more and be more of a time hassle than if you were to fly into Burbank airport, which is only a few minutes away. This is a smaller airport, but it still accepts most flights around the country, so it’s a great option.
Travel Against the Grain
When making your travel plans, it’s a good idea to think about where most people are not traveling to. For example, you’ll want to avoid traveling to or booking a hotel near a crowded beach or a ski resort, as many people will be at these places. Instead, consider traveling to places like New Orleans where there isn’t so much hassle around the holidays. Also, consider booking a room at a hotel that specializes in business guests. Most likely there will not be many business people booking hotel rooms around the holidays, so these hotels will offer rooms at well below the original cost. You may even find a bargain when you stay in Las Vegas around Christmas, but be sure to be gone by New Year’s, when the town really lights up.
Travel with a Group
When you are traveling with a large group, usually ten or more, it is a good idea to take advantage of the groups’ size by playing the numbers game. Often, you’ll be able to negotiate for discounts and special perks wherever you are going. For example. on many cruise lines you get a free cabin with ten other paid rooms. If you are on land, it might be to your advantage to book a villa, condo, or a house rental instead of a room for each traveler. It may seem pricey at first, but you’ll find that it will be cheaper than booking all of those separate rooms. Some airlines will also offer special perks and discounts for large groups. However, even if they don’t offer a discount, they will most likely be able to coordinate itineraries for each member of your party.
Traveling during the holidays is bound to be a bit chaotic, especially when each member of your traveling party is rummaging through their baggage while in line at the check-in counter just to find their ID or other items of need. Even though this may just happen, there are a few things that you can do beforehand to better prepare yourself for traveling. For example, many airlines offer the chance to check-in a day early and print your boarding pass from home. These actions alone, will save you valuable time.
Also, it is a good idea to pack light enough that all the baggage that you have to worry about is your carry-on. Now this may just not be an option for some people, but consider the time that would be save if you could skip the baggage check line. When you are checking bage, make sure that they are under fifty pounds each, or you will be charged extra fees.
Reserve Parking in Advance
At most airports, there are services that allow you, both on and off grounds, to reserve a parking spot, often for less money. To check if the airport that you are using offers these services, just check the website and you will find the information you need. Also, if you book parking in advance, you won’t have to worry about the hassle of getting to the parking lot or where to park because a shuttle from the airport will take you directly to your parking lot.
It is an age-old issue, but traveling during the holidays can beÃ‚Â a joyful time, if you take the time before to plan for a successful trip. After all, you are most likely traveling to visit family, so cutting down on the stress is a great way to get into the holiday mood. Consider traveling early or late, just to avoid the hassles, but most importantly, enjoy the time spent more than worrying about getting there or coming home.