There are some simple things you can do to make sure your trip goes as smoothly as possible during the busy holiday travel season. It is estimated that air travel will increase by 2.5% this holiday season equaling more than 2.2 million passengers per day.
1. There’s an app for that: Be sure to stay connected. Download your airline’s app, your favorite weather app to check the weather for your destination, Gate Guru to help you navigate those larger airports, Hotel Tonight if your get stuck at your connecting hub, and Flight Status to your smartphone before leaving home. If you are traveling to a foreign country, you might want to add Google Translate and a currency converter app. Be sure to sign up for itinerary alerts and updates from your airline before leaving home.
2. Charge all of your electronic devices before you leave home as you may be asked to turn on your device going through security. Also, you will need charged devices to use all those apps you downloaded. Don’t forget your chargers and consider bringing a charged power stick for emergencies.
3. If possible, print your boarding passes at home for back-up, use a check-in kiosk at the airport, or pull up your boarding pass on your smartphone.
3. Pack wisely and light. If you can avoid checking a bag, you will generally save money (depends on the airline), and time at the baggage conveyor and you will be prepared if you need to change plans in the middle of your trip due to weather, etc. If going the carry-on route, pay particular attention to TSA’s rules about liquids and gels following the 3-1-1 guidelines at TSA.gov. Since it is the holidays, remember wrapped packages can cause security check-in delays. It is best to wrap at your destination or better yet ship the packages ahead.
4. Pack snacks for the trip and potential delays along the way. Once you get through security, you can buy water and other beverages to take on-board. Don’t get hangry along the way. Keep yourself and your travel companions fueled up for the trip.
5. Pack plenty of books, games, and other entertainment for yourself and especially for any children traveling with you.
6. Be sure that you are aware of alternative routes, flights and airports to reach your destination, that way you can help reroute yourself if needed. Avoid the long lines during delays and call the airline directly especially if you are a frequent flyer on that airline when you may have a separate line to call.
7. Allow extra time everywhere – driving to the airport, check-in, and getting through security. Even if you are an expert traveler, during the holiday season there are many who only travel occasionally and they may need extra help getting through the airport and the process. An extra 45 minutes can make a big difference in reducing travel stress.
8. Take a deep breath and keep in mind the reason you are traveling in the first place.
Special Note: Samsung galaxy Note 7 smartphones are currently banned on all U.S. airlines.
Happy Holidays and Safe Travels.