The holiday travel season can pose its own special brand of goodness, and also challenges – whether it’s scheduling with family, deciding where best to go, or dealing with holiday crowds.

The best Christmas vacations happen when you carefully plan ahead for your holiday trip.

Read on for these helpful holiday travel tips.


Plan Ahead for Next Year’s Holiday

It’s never too early to start planning for travel, whether you are hoping to go away at the end of the year, or even next year.

First, start shopping around to see what deals are out there.

Sign up for alerts and special deals with your favorite travel companies, as peak holiday travel dates tend to fill up quickly.

Once you have firm dates in mind, start planning your trip around that.

You’ll have plenty of time to keep your eyes open for the best deals that fit your budget.

And when you do find a good deal, then jump on it!


What Are Your Holiday Travel Tips?

Think about your favorite festive jaunts.

What is more important to you?

Being with family, or just relaxing with a loved one in a new city?

Consider all of your “must-haves” before you begin looking into holiday travel.

If you are flying, consider booking your holiday flights (either to or from) on the actual holiday, as many airlines will lower their rates on that day.

Which days can you travel to maximize a long holiday weekend, without taking too many days off work?

Start pricing air travel on different days surrounding that weekend.

Be sure to carefully look at connections and how much that will eat into your travel time, then build in some time for any flight delays.

Avoid tight connections.

For winter holiday travel tips – just know that with colder weather, there tends to be more delays for flights.


A Few Bonus Holiday Travel Tips

  • Pack smartly. Unless you are going on a long trip (more than one week), you really don’t need to pack a lot. Stick to the absolute essentials; pack only 3-4 outfits, 1-2 pairs of shoes and the necessary toiletries/medications/electronics. You shouldn’t have to check in any bags; that way you will save on any checked baggage fees. Send any gifts to your destination ahead of time. That’s how the best holiday gifts come, after all!
  • For chilly holiday flights, pack an extra light blanket, as most airlines no longer provide these.
  • If you can, take alternative transportation to the airport, so you can save on parking fees. But if you do have to park at the airport, don’t assume you’ll be able to easily find a parking space, since everyone else is traveling, as well. Allow plenty of time to park, and get through security.
  • The same is true if you are driving to your holiday destination. Always leave extra travel time, and if you do arrive early, that’s just more leisure time for you!
  • Show some holiday spirit! If things go wrong, and they sometimes do, remember to keep your cool. Since everyone is trying to get where they need to be – exercise a little patience. Your jolly outlook will make everything better.
  • Have phone numbers handy for everything: Your hotel, car rental company, airline, and family/friends at your destination. Also, download mobile travel alert apps to keep you informed.
  • If you have pets you’ll be leaving behind, definitely start arranging for their care now.

Holiday Travel Tips During COVID-19

Obviously, the entire world has changed drastically in recent months as the COVID-19 pandemic has swept across the planet.

Every person in every country in the world needs to be mindful of the reality of this situation, and that certainly includes the travel industry.

Regardless of the presence of this virus in the world, the holiday season is approaching, as neither COVID-19 nor the calendar know anything about time of day or year.

That means that booking the best Christmas vacations out there is going to be quite a bit more involved now than it was in years past, but with the proper planning and management, you will be able to pull off a wonderful excursion.

Below you’ll find some holiday travel tips that keep the COVID-19 pandemic in mind:

  • Remember that since people are not traveling as much for obvious reasons, there won’t be as many flights from which to choose if you decide to travel far away for the holidays. That means that you need to be extra vigilant for any opportunity to book tickets that arises, as there may not be many more as the holidays get closer. 
  • While you can control how often and how intensely you search for flights, one of the more relevant holiday travel tips is one that you cannot control in the least. That consists of the idea that you’ll need to watch closely for any type of travel restrictions that may arise. As the number of COVID-19 cases rises and falls, it will likely lead to reactions from local, state and national governments that could directly affect your plans. Watch the news closely if you plan on traveling during the holiday season, and be ready to make adjustments when necessary.
  • Another of the holiday travel tips that’s never been heard before by anyone under 100 years old is that you’ll need to make sure you understand any and all self-quarantine rules that are in place in your destination and plan to follow them accordingly. It would be awfully disappointing to land at your destination and find out that you’ll spend your entire vacation inside one hotel room. Plan ahead so that this doesn’t surprise you.
  • It also seems strange that among this year’s holiday travel tips is the idea that you need to be ready to not travel, because of any of the reasons above. If the number of cases spike during the holidays and places and/or airlines shut down, there’s nothing you can do about that except accept it. That’s not fun, but once again it’s outside your realm of control. Plan your trip and have fun doing so, but also understand that everything may not go according to plan.
  • Finally, among the most important holiday travel tips for this year is do what you can to purchase airline tickets that are refundable or transferable and reserve lodging that allows for cancellations. It’d be one thing to find out just before your trip that you’re not going to be able to go, but entirely another to find out that you still have to eat that cost.

Book Your Holiday Travel Now!

Now’s the perfect time to start planning, as many people will want to travel to the same destination, and around the same time as you.

Get in on some good deals while you can to make the most of your holiday travel experience!

Do you have any holiday travel tips that I didn’t mention in this post? If you do, leave a comment below! 

If you are looking for a step-by-step guide to help you plan your holiday travel, check out The Ultimate Guide to Trip Planning.

If you are still feeling overwhelmed, or simply do not have the time to plan your holiday trip, why not let us help you? We will create the perfect bespoke itinerary just for you!


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