If you’re going away for the holidays this year, you’re probably unhappily anticipating a hike in gas prices, long lines at airport security and delays all-around. According to the Bureau of Transportation, Thanksgiving and the winter holiday season are the busiest long-distance travel times in a given year. While travelers cannot avoid hefty waits at check-in and traffic on the highway, there are plenty of measures to take in order to alleviate any holiday season travel stress.
• Know when to travel: For local excursions, people tend to leave on Thursdays. If traveling over 100 miles away, Wednesday through Sunday are the most popular days.
• About 90% of Thanksgiving travel is through one’s vehicle.
• The Sunday and Monday after Thanksgiving are the busiest days to travel back home. If you book a flight or drive on Tuesday, you’ll avoid a lot of traffic.
• Weather delays don’t always depend on where you’re flying out of. If you live in Florida but are flying to New York, you may experience delays due to a snowstorm, for example.
• Allow ample time to check in at the airport and make it through security. More travelers means more time to wait as each individual is screened.
• Travel on Saturday as opposed to Sunday. Most people want to make it back for work without sacrificing any weekend time.
• The average age of Thanksgiving travelers is just under 34, as opposed to right above 36 for the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, according to the BTS.
• Preview airport restrictions and laws implemented for safe air travel…you cannot avoid them and will save a world of time if you plan ahead.
• Book a trip off-season. For example, go to New England when the leaves aren’t changing…you’ll save on local bed and breakfasts, whose popularity heightens during the fall.
• Consider booking through an online travel agency. You can find new discounts and sales each day, as well as vacation packages unavailable elsewhere.
The best discount travel online can be found through sites such as Orbitz and Expedia, according to StarReviews. If you’re an avid planner, you’ll be able to customize your own trip homepage, complete with photos, video and comments through Orbitz’s TripHub.
If you’re like most travelers, saving money is important when going away during the holidays. When booking through Travelocity, you can save just by using a particular credit card. Before the cold weather arrives, consider booking travel online and taking advantages of discount flights and destination-stays.