For many this is the most beautiful time of the year, but when one is traveling during this busy period there is a potential of finding problems that can make he experience a true nightmare. We offer here some advice that can be helpful in preventing such disasters. There is nothing new, but most people forget to keep in mind these tips when traveling.
The first and most obvious advice: plan early and buy in advance. I know that many people are really busy, but one has to think that once the holidays are approaching, nothing will get better actually time will be more limited. So why not to plan ahead and book as soon as possible. As early as one buys there are always better deals and more options. Personally if I am not completely sure about my dates I start booking hotels with fares that are cancellable and once I am sure about the dates I move to the prepaid ones that are always cheaper.
Keep checking your bookings, if the prices drop contact the seller. Most travel websites and hotels guarantee that they are selling the cheaper fare. Several times it has happened to me that weeks later the price drops, once I have contacted the seller they have refunded the difference.
Travel against the flows: The day before thanksgiving and Christmas are the most traveled days of the year, the funny fact is that thanksgiving day, new year’s day and Christmas are among the less traveled ones and because of that among the cheapest ones. So why not avoid the crowds and get better prices.
Always choose the earliest possible flight: There are more possibilities of disruption during the Holidays because of weather or overbooking, if one chooses to fly late in the day the possibilities of being rebooked are low, in the morning one will find many other flights and the personnel of the airline are normally in a better mood and rested.
Travel light: nowadays less and less luggage is lost, but it is in the high season when more bags are lost. Try to travel light, it is even better if one can fly only with hand luggage, this saves money in certain countries, reduces the waiting time and vanishes the possibilities of losing checked-in bags.
What is the minimum that you need to reach your destination: what I mean is which things are indispensable for the trip, do a mental list of this , for example: Passports, bookings, wallet, money, credit cards, medicines. I prefer before crossing the door of my house to do a last minute physical check that I have all these things with me.
Be patient and be flexible: I know that for many people this can be hard, but if you have a indispensable meeting back home in early January during early morning, it is obvious, but do not book a late night flight to come home the day before. It is important to give a good window in case flights are cancelled or schedules changed, as well this has to be kept in mind for connections, it is better always to spend a little more time in the airport than only having 20 minutes between flights.
In case your flight is late or there is bad weather try to go out fast from the plane, for this reason it is helpful always to request a front seat. The ones that reach the help desk of the airline first have better chances of being rebooked or getting a hotel room.
Always be friendly, be firm with your demands but please be realistic, if it is December 23rd at 11 pm do not expect to receive a free suite to the closest five stars hotel, at that point I will be happy with having a confirmed flight in the next flight and a clean and good place to sleep.
The last advice: Why not to visit family, friends or that dream place in another time? This is not as crazy as it sounds. It is really worth all the stress and money spent in that specific week if just one week later the price is half and the stress almost nothing? Traveling in low seasons is really the best way to do it! Good prices, easy upgrades, friendly and rested personnel, maybe it is not a totally crazy call after all.