8 Easy Ways to Avoid Holiday Travel Stress
It’s the most wonderful time of the year and the busiest for traveling. Airports are packed with people juggling presents and suitcases headed to see loved ones.This can be a recipe for disaster so check out our tips to avoid holiday travel stress.
Book Travel Early
NOW is the time to book your holiday travel. When you book further out, flights are cheaper. According to Skyscanner, book your flight on a Sunday to secure lower prices. Currently, the best-priced flights leave Christmas Day and return the day after. A second cost-effective option is leaving Christmas Eve and returning Friday. Additional tips for securing cost effective flights include checking fares at nearby airports, shopping for the best deals on websites like Skyscanner.com and Flight Matrix, and using points accrued from an Airline Rewards program. If holiday travels are putting a stress on your bank account, be sure to check Launch’s personal loan offers so you can be with your loved ones for the holidays.
Secure Your Home
Protect your home during the holidays. Burglars love the holidays because homes are less secure and people are gone. To avoid break-ins, purchase a home monitoring system, have a friend stop by to check for package deliveries, install an outdoor motion sensor light, and disconnect your garage door. Don’t post the specific days/times you’re gone for the holidays on social media.
Ship presents ahead of time instead of dealing with pricey baggage fees. Purchase gifts online and have them shipped to your holiday destination. If you’ve purchased presents in-store go to your local USPS, UPS, and FedEx stores to find the best shipping rate. A good rule of thumb is to ship these far in advance because it gets pricey when you’re looking for two day shipping. Always add a tracking number to your package and keep the receipt.
Notify Your Credit Card Company
Call your credit card company and let them know when your holiday travel will start and end. Some companies will deny a charge if it’s made in an unusual location.
Leave Presents Unwrapped
Don’t wrap your presents if you’re bringing them to the airport. According to TSA, if your gift triggers an alarm they may need to unwrap it. They suggest using a gift box or bag instead.
Tag Your Bags
Tag and lock your luggage to avoid lost baggage. Add color such as a ribbon or belt to your luggage, pack your flight itinerary & contact info inside, and snap a photo of your bag. Use this photo to show airport personnel what your bag looks like. Take photos of the contents inside because the airline will ask for a list of luggage contents and monetary value if your luggage is lost. If you can’t find your bag, head over the the airline’s lost-baggage counter and file a claim. To avoid additional stress from a lost bag, pack the most important items in your carry on bag.
Stay in a hotel the night before your flight to avoid airport parking fees. Some hotels allow you to park for free during your holiday travel. This also allows you to get to the airport early and avoid traffic. Call ahead to verify with the hotels you’re looking at.
Avoid Airport USB Chargers
Don’t charge your phones at the airport USB charging stations because they can be dangerous. Once you “plug in,” hackers can download your data. This is called “juice jacking”, where hackers install malware in USB charging stations which infects the phones plugged in. Try using regular electrical outlets throughout the airport. If you must use a station, turn your phone off while charging.
Traveling always comes with increased risk so set yourself up for success by securing your valuables, home, and devices. Check off these tips and avoid holiday travel stress.