It’s that time of year again and for those of you heading home to spend time with family and friends, air travel can be a long and stressful process. So we’ve put together some tips on how to ease the stress and frustration of holiday travel:
Travelling during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays is one of the busiest times of the year so the number one rule is to give yourself more time than you think you’ll need. Full planes translate into longer lines for check-in, security, and customs, not to mention more time to load and offload passengers. So do yourself a favour and give yourself lots of time at the airport especially if you’re travelling with children.
If you’re taking gifts with you, be sure to leave them unwrapped or security may do that for you—especially for International flights. You might also consider sending your gifts ahead by registered mail or courier to save on any extra baggage fees and lighten your luggage.
If you don’t have a direct flight, make sure you allow enough time to make your connection and take the weather into consideration. If bad weather could potentially delay your flight, it’s much better to have the longer layover as you won’t have many options if you miss your connection.
The best way to avoid the crowds is to avoid travelling on a weekend day or fly on an off-peak day such as the first day the kids are back in school. Another option is to fly on the actual holiday if possible. Lines are minimal, flights aren’t fully booked and airports are virtually empty.
While most people carry their cell phones with them already, don’t forget to pack your charger in case you get delayed and need to contact friends or family. It’s also a good idea to make copies of your passport and travel documents and leave them with someone you can reach in case your passport is lost or stolen.
Finally, remember that everyone has somewhere to get to and a little courtesy toward both your airport security people and fellow passengers will go a long way.