Booking those holiday airfares and lodgings can be a travel nightmare. The prices are sky high and the pressure to be in the right place at exactly the right time makes any delays or cancellations non-negotiable. The pressure is on.
But, there are ways to make the dreaded holiday travel woes disappear or at least be minimized. Be prepared to do your homework, and then take advantage of some sensible travel choices. Viola. You’ve saved time, money and have avoided mistakes that might have threatened your happy holiday journey.
Holiday Travel Tips
If possible, take advantage of your freer senior schedule and travel earlier in the month of December. You’ll beat the rush that begins the week of Christmas and many airlines and resorts offer bargains during this time period.
Alternatively, be willing to travel on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, or possibly on New Year’s Eve or Day. What you lose in convenience, you’ll make up for in savings. Why not celebrate your family or friends’ Christmas on Christmas night or even on the 26th?
When researching your flights, search one way flights day by day. You can find big savings by piecing together your trip in segments.
When traveling to major cities, research all of the alternative airports. You may find a huge savings in traveling to a smaller city and driving several hours or choosing the smaller urban airport.
Avoid long holds when booking your trips via phone. Call the overseas reservations desk for your airline using Skype.
The earlier in the day you fly, the less chance there is of delays or cancellations, so book those early hour flights.
Be proactive and join a loyalty or credit card program that gives you reduced rates on travel.
Sometimes choosing to travel to big cities to enjoy theater, concerts, museums, etc. is a better choice than warm, beach resorts in the winter months.
Pay attention to flights that may take you to winter storm areas. Avoid them, if possible to ensure arriving at your scheduled time.
Use savvy websites to inform your travel:
www.Flightstats.com to track delays and get travel alerts
www.CrankyConcierge.com for urgent travel assistance such as rebooking when stranded.
www.Skyscanner.net A handy, complete travel search engine.
www.travelzoo.com Get this app to find the latest in travel savings.
As always, careful early planning will smooth the way for a stress-free trip this holiday season.