With airlines already reporting record levels of travel expected over the festive period, we have compiled a list of 7 tips to ensure you travel stress free this Christmas. With just weeks to go, now is the time to finalise your travel arrangements.
Take early flights. If there’s disruption due to bad weather or technical problems, you’ll be put onto the next available flight. If you’ve already chosen a late flight, there might not be a later one. Who wants to spend the holiday season at an airport hotel, when everyone else is celebrating with family and friends?
Avoid indirect flights. Many travellers opt for indirect flights as sometimes they can be slightly cheaper than flying direct. Christmas is not the time to skimp, you’ll be opening yourself up to a higher risk of delays, missed connections and cancellations. If the airport you are connecting at is forced to close due to bad weather, you could find your flight diverting to an airport miles away.
Allow extra time. Even if you are a frequent traveller and have your journey all planned out, remember during the holidays airports become packed with travellers. This slows down the airport security screening process. With heightened security measures in place over the coming months, those queues are only going to get longer. Don’t risk cutting it fine, if you don’t get to the boarding-gate on time your flight will leave without you. Be sure to check-in online before you leave home, this will not only save time at the airport but also offers additional protection, as you are less likely to be bumped off an oversold flight if you have checked-in and hold a valid boarding card. Those checking in last minute at the airport are far more likely to find their travel plans disrupted.
Forget travelling with wrapped presents! Security officials are almost certainly going to become suspicious. They will make you unwrap your gifts so they can check the contents. This will not only slow you down, it will probably lead to some disgruntled remarks from your fellow passengers, now stuck behind you in the queue. Either wrap your presents when you arrive, or better yet post them on ahead and lighten your load.
Remember the roads will be busier than usual too. You’re almost certainly going to hit traffic. Traffic Apps are a great way to avoid congestion. Even if you know the route like the back of your hand, take a GPS Sat Nav if you have one, that way if you find traffic at a standstill you can take a detour and let the Sat Nav recalculate the quickest alternative route. Traveleads launched a great free to download app last year 'TravAsssit'. As the name suggests it's a pocket sized travel assistant packed with handy features, it also allows you to keep all of your travel vouchers, e-tickets and itinerary information in one easy to find place. For more information search Traveleads in your app store.
Don’t wait for that last minute travel deal – it’s not going to happen! Airlines are already reporting high seat sales for the holidays, so it’s unlikely they will start slashing prices. As availability becomes more restricted the last few seats will almost certainly come at a premium. Book ahead!
So you’ve followed our tips and arrived safely in time for the festivities. Can’t cope with the in-laws? Don’t worry, get some personal space by staying in a hotel nearby. Don’t assume all hotels will charge inflated prices over Christmas. Many hotels actually reduce their rates over the holidays to save having empty rooms. This could be an ideal opportunity to upgrade yourself for less.
Wherever you find yourself this Christmas we wish you a safe and pleasant journey.