Holiday travel can be stressful, and it pays to prepare for the worst in advance. Knowing how to avoid potential problems is as crucial as the most carefully made to-do list, prior to season travel, and can save you time, money, and an big headache in the long run.
Most importantly, choose your travel dates wisely, and don’t travel during peak hours. Christmas and New Year’s both fall on Wednesdays this year, departure dates will be more varied than usual, but you can expect to spend more for weekend travel. Consider traveling on Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, or New Year’s Day. Very few people actually travel on holidays, so cheaper rates are available as well as far less traffic.
Don’t overdo the good cheer the night before you travel. We all know being in a car or plane for an long period of time is not great to begin with, so you don’t want to make it worse by being worn out from too much holiday ‘cheer’. Airlines are less tolerant than in the past for passengers who appear even slightly tipsy, and you don’t want to be prevented from boarding. Being a passenger in a car under these same conditions is not great either, and that goes double for driving. It is best to avoid the hassle altogether, and get plenty of rest before departure. You and your companions will be grateful that you did.
When traveling by air, make sure to give yourself ample time to find a parking space at the airport. Airport lots fill up fast during the holiday season, and driving back and forth to find a space can cut shave the minutes off the extra time that was planned for. Look into lots outside the airport, and check the airport’s website for parking information. You might inquire about a sleep and fly alternative with your airline.
Finally, do not assume that winter weather will be cooperate when you travel, so plan for unexpected surprises from Mother Nature. A snowstorm can leave you grounded, or prevent you from reaching the airport on time. An unexpected snowstorm can delay your trip indefinitely even if you are in the car. Plan ahead and know what to expect before you hit the road.
Sand replaces snow in the South East, and you will delight in the festive, lighted boardwalks that edge the ocean. Depending on where you travel, like Georgia, Florida, or the Coastal Carolinas, you will find folks walking about on Christmas and New Year’s Day in shorts and sandals, and instead of having snowball fights. Kids ride their bicycles in the streets and skateboard to the tune of “All I Want for Christmas is A Real Good Tan” by Kenny Chesney. Well, this writer may have taken poetic license with that last statement, but you get the idea. So…consider heading south for Christmas. You will be greeted by warmth, and the weather isn’t bad, either!