How to navigate the busy holiday travel season

Air travel tips

Avoid hot spots. If your travel is for vacation, not to visit family, and you can be flexible, consider booking a trip to a lesser known destination. You’ll get through many of the usual holiday season hassles and maybe even save money. (Hotel rates in New York City, for example, can skyrocket during the holidays.)

Make advance reservations for parking at the airport. Even plots of land outside the property can fill up during the holiday season. You may consider staying at an airport hotel the night before an early flight; These hotels sometimes offer great long-term parking deals that can offset the price of an overnight stay.

Check car rental availability. Because of the car rental shortage, prices have gone up dramatically – sometimes exceeding the cost of the flight – so it may be in your best interest to book flights that match car availability, if you have the flexibility to do so.

Research the rules regarding your destination regarding COVID-19. For international travel, find out about the testing and vaccination requirements that apply at your destination.

Even for domestic flights, look at the COVID-19 rules for your destination; Some cities, including Washington, D.C. and New York City, require face masks in indoor public spaces (among other requirements). You’ll want to know what to expect once you hit the ground running. Individual attractions and businesses may have their own rules, such as requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination.

Arrive at the airport and the correct station early. Pilots worried about holiday season travel should allow plenty of time before their flight and do their homework, advises Doug Yakel, San Francisco International Airport’s public information officer: “Know what station your flight is from; getting off in the wrong place can start A stressful flight. Arriving at the airport two hours before a domestic flight, three hours before the international flight.”

Pass the TSA security check as efficiently as possible. Simplify the boarding process by subscribing to and using Homeland S’ Trusted Flyer Programs, including TSA PreCheck and Global Entry. If you are not enrolled in one of these programs and need to take off your shoes and jacket, do so before standing in front of the conveyor belt, so as not to run into other passengers.

Remember that due to the pandemic, you are allowed to bring liquid hand sanitizer in packages of up to 12 ounces in portable bags; Previously, liquids had to be in packages of no more than 3.4 ounces. You are also still allowed to use a driver’s license that expired on or after March 1, 2020, as an acceptable ID at checkpoints, for one year after the expiration date.

Splurge on entry to the lounge. Consider paying extra to escape the airport crowds and decompress in the airline lounge (or sign up for a credit card that gives you access to the lounges) before boarding. A day pass is around $25 to $40; The LoungeBuddy app allows you to book in advance.

Do not overload the upper cabinet space. Use the space above your seat, if possible – not the first space you see when you enter the plane. And don’t push your coat and other bulky items with your hand baggage allowance. Your personal items, such as a handbag or laptop bag, should fit under the seat.

be nice. Don’t cause problems about the rules, and again, be patient; Airlines and federations are cracking down on unruly passenger behavior, which has accelerated in recent months. Not to mention that airports and airline workers have a lot of other stressors, including staff shortages. They definitely don’t want to deal with rude customers (nor the other passengers).


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