After Thanksgiving, the December holiday season is one of the busiest times of the year to travel. In fact, a report from the AAA shows an estimated 112.7 million people are likely to travel between December 23, 2022 and January 2, 2023.
And if that number brings to mind long lines and big delays, you’re not wrong — while getting to your holiday destination, whether it’s to family spread far and wide or a tropical destination, can bring a lot of joy, the journey itself can be a huge headache. Here are a few expert tips to keeping you sane.
While cutting it close, if you haven’t yet booked your transportation for Christmas, it’s better to do so sooner rather than later. The prime time to book flights for Christmas is usually September, but if you’re waiting until the last minute to book a bus, train or flight, you’ll likely find sold out flights and high prices.
If you’re still unsure where to spend the holiday season, try thinking of a less-visited destination, or one close to home. Is there a nearby town or city you’ve always wanted to try, but just haven’t? Or want to try a roll of the dice and pick somewhere you’ve never thought of? Nontraditional Christmas getaways will offer cheaper flights, accommodation and shorter lines at the gate.
There’s one thing worse than a delayed flight — a delayed flight with losing a checked bag. So if you’ve booked your travel but haven’t yet packed, our biggest tip would be to stick to carry-on luggage only. It’ll save you time, money and stress. And if you’re planning on packing gifts for loved ones, our recommendation is to leave them unwrapped, just in case a TSA agent gets curious about what’s inside.
Finally, as Covid-19 and other flu and respiratory illnesses continue to make the rounds, and the CDC reissues its recommendation for wearing masks in public, the most important tip for this holiday season is to stay safe and healthy. Whether that’s practicing social distancing until meeting high risk family members, or getting your flu shots, make sure your happy holidays are also a healthy one!