10 Tips for Stress-Free Holiday Travel
With the holiday season right around the corner, now is the time to start planning for any upcoming trips—whether you’re journeying back home to see family or taking a vacation abroad. Travel becomes hectic this time of year with extra cars on the road, booked flights and winter weather, meaning preparation is key. Here are several steps you can take to eliminate stress and make traveling during the holidays much easier.
Here are 10 tips for stress-free travel planning:
- Talk to your AAA Travel agent at the beginning of the planning process—this can save you time, stress and money. Book a FREE appointment with a AAA Travel agent to get started.
- Don’t travel on peak holiday travel days; they’re likely to have delays or cancellations. Try to avoid traveling the day before and the Sunday after Thanksgiving.
- Leave lots of extra time. You should depart much earlier in the day than you typically would, whether you are driving or flying. It’s better to be early than stuck in traffic or standing in a long security line. Relax or listen to music while you wait for your flight.
- Flying vs Driving is usually dependent on how far away you’re traveling. Both choices come with personal pros and cons, but regardless, book far in advance. Airline tickets and rental cars go up in price when availability starts to slim down. AAA can help you book both options to make the process go even smoother. Also, AAA members get tons of benefits with Hertz, like exclusive discounts, young drivers fee waived, complimentary car seats and more!
- Pre-book your parking spot. Airport parking often fills up during the holiday. During peak times, you should call to pre-book your spot or download the company’s app on your phone to reserve a space. AAA offers special member discounts at The Parking Spot, and they have an easy-to-use app that makes reservations, checking in and checking out a breeze.
- Avoid airline ticket counters. Rather than waiting in line, print your boarding passes at home or pull them up on your smartphone. Bonus tip: use the skycaps at curbside for added convenience.
- Pack light for air travel. If possible, try to only take a carry-on bag. This will save you time—as well as money—at both ends of the trip.
- Bring distractions. If traveling with children, bring snacks, games, books and/or magazines to keep them engaged and happy.
- Use your phone to your advantage. Sign up with your airline to receive flight status updates on your phone.
- Ship the gifts. Last but not least, think twice about hauling holiday gifts when traveling by air. Shop online and have them shipped to your destination instead. AAA members also get a shipping discount at the UPS store!
And of course, once plans are finalized, contact your AAA Travel agent as soon as possible to arrange your airline flights and car rentals—flights tend to go up in price the closer you get to any holiday.
Call your local AAA store or visit AAA.com/Locations to book a travel appointment today.