With the busy holiday period approaching, travelling during this time can mean busy airports and long line-ups. So we’ve put together our Top 5 tips for getting through the peak season of travel so you can spend less time stressing and more time enjoying your holiday:
1. Choose Your Dates Wisely
The best way to avoid the crowds is to travel on the actual holiday if possible – lines are minimal, flights aren’t fully booked, and airports are virtually empty. The same is true on the return. It’s best to fly on an off-peak day like the first day the kids are back in school.
2. Lose the Wrapper
If you’re taking gifts with you to your destination make sure they’re not wrapped or they could be unwrapped by security – especially for international flights. Another option is to ship them ahead of time to avoid the extra search and lighten your luggage. Perhaps think about doing your Christmas shopping online and having your gifts shipped to your destination. This will cut down on luggage and the risk of them getting lost.
THE U.S Transportation Security Administration (TSA) have highlighted security procedures ahead of the busy holiday travel period and remind travellers about the steps to take to prepare for airport security. Our best advice is to be prepared for security screening at the checkpoint to help streamline the process for both yourself and other travellers.
Remember the 3 simple steps to security: have ID’s out, coats and shoes off, and laptops out for screening.
3. Prep Your Travel Documents
Many airlines now allow travellers to check themselves in at home via the web and arrive with boarding pass in hand to avoid lines. If flying Internationally, it’s important to make sure that your passport is up-to-date and that you have the details on hand of where you are staying during your travels. You will be expected to fill this information out on a form before you even check-in to security so make sure you have your hotel/residence address on hand. Apart from your ticket and itinerary, many people don’t realize that for most countries their passport must be valid 6 months after they return home. Take a look at your passport’s expiry date and determine if it’s time to renew.
4. Get to Know Your Airports
Your travel agent may have helped you with an airport transfer or car rental, but getting there through the crowds can sometimes leave you feeling lost. Hop online and take a quick tour of the airport so you know where to go once you’ve collected your baggage. Vancouver Airport has some great resources online for navigating the terminals and posts all sorts of great information for passengers to familiarize themselves with the airport better.
5. Keep a Positive Attitude
It’s good to be mentally prepared for setbacks. Delays happen, and airlines do the best they can to keep their schedules on time. Bring water and snacks, a good book/kindle/ipad, some music, and if you have kids, a deck of cards or games to keep them entertained. Boredom is the true enemy in these situations, so be prepared to conquer it!
Once considered nothing but wait areas, airports have come a long way and become retail, dining and entertainment destinations all on their own. Among the amenities you can now find at certain international airports are spas, fitness centres, and free wi-fi services. Check out the premium lounges if travelling from Vancouver or Toronto for a few hours of uninterrupted quiet and escape from the crowds.
Need help sorting out your holiday or vacation travel? Contact one of our consultants at 1-866-502-4605