So you want to go visit Grandma for the holidays while having a wonderful trip with your kids.
Here are a few holiday travel tips to help you do that.
1) Plan ahead
Schedule your flights, hotels and car reservations as much in advance as possible. Prices escalate during the holidays because of greater demand. And book direct flights, if possible, because every time you make a connection you chance something going wrong because of weather delays or other circumstances.
2) Expect the unexpected.
Airlines overbook all during the year, but especially during the holidays which are busy travel days. Book flights early in the day and arrive early, very early.
This will help with a couple of things. When you book an early flight if you get bumped there will be other flights you can take. If you book a late flight, then you may get stranded until the next day. And when you are one of the first ones to check in you are less likely to get bumped.
3) Avoid peak travel days
Try to travel 2 days prior to the holiday or on the holiday itself. They day before the holiday is the highest travel day.
4) Getting to the airport
If you live very far from the airport you may want to stay at an airport hotel the night before. Most airport hotels have shuttles that will take you to the airport and you can leave your car at the hotel and not have to pay the airport parking fees.
Check with your hotel for details, but if you are going to be gone several days the cost of the hotel may not be much more than paying for parking while you are gone. Or if you live close to the airport, try to have a neighbor take you to the airport or take an airport shuttle so you do not have to find a parking spot as the parking lots fill up during the holidays.
5) Pack light
The overhead bins will fill up during holiday travel so ship as much as you can to your relatives’ house as you can. Remember to ship it at least 3 weeks prior to make sure it arrives on time. And do not take wrapped gifts on board, you will not get through security with wrapped gifts.
6) Kids activities
Let each child bring a back pack that they can carry and will fit easily under the seat. They can pack with their favorite activity and snack to keep them occupied.
7) Secure your home
Make sure to stop you mail or have a neighbor pick it and your newspapers up.
Invest in timers to have your lights go on and off so it looks like someone is home.
8) Most important
Take a good attitude. Be prepared for setbacks and, especially with kids, remember that boredom is your enemy and get the cards out and play games. Waiting can be a fun family time with just a little planning.
So plan ahead, go with the flow and make those wonderful holiday memories that will last forever.…