With the holiday travel season fast approaching, here are a few tips to keep in mind for those of you who will be traveling by air. AAA has estimated that 5.6 million travelers will be flying this holiday season, up four percent from last year. Considering that this time of year is increasingly busy, here is some advice to minimize the stress of holiday air travel.
- Airport parking lots will be especially crowded this time of year, so consider getting a ride to the airport, or take public transportation if possible.
- Check your departure times before leaving for the airport. This will ensure you arrive at the correct time. There may also be changes to your travel plans, such as delays due to weather.
- Plan on arriving at the airport early. Holiday travel means long lines at the ticket counter and security. Allow yourself enough time to wait in line to check-in and check bags (if necessary), and make your way through security before your flight boards.
- Prior to arriving at the airport (24 hours before your flight), check-in, print boarding passes, and pay for checked baggage online. You may be able to skip the ticket counter if you do not have checked luggage, or at least expedite the process.
- Pack as light as possible. This may not only eliminate the time and cost of checking baggage, but also ensures that your baggage will arrive with you at your destination if you only bring a carry-on bag.
- If you do check baggage, be sure to pack essential/valuable items in your carry-on luggage in case your checked bag does not arrive with you. This includes items such as ID, prescription medication, cell phone, computer, tablet, keys, jewelry, etc.
- Be prepared for security and comply with TSA procedures. It is highly recommended that you do not wrap gifts, especially in your carry-on luggage. TSA may need to unwrap them to screen them further, so wait until you arrive at your destination to wrap gifts. For specific information regarding TSA regulations, visit http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information
I hope this advice will help those of you flying this holiday season. Happy and safe travels!