If you’ve traveled during the winter holidays before you know what a headache it can be driving to the airport, maneuvering through airport security and waiting in long lines and crowded areas. But by preparing yourself and planning out the details you can save yourself a lot of hassle. When preparing for your vacation this winter keep these 5 travel tips in mind to ensure a stress free trip!
1. Plan Ahead
Print out boarding passes ahead of time or use electronic boarding passes from your smartphone and have all your identification ready. Before you leave home, confirm the status of your flight by calling the airport or checking online. Also, make sure that your baggage fits the size and weight requirements before leaving home as having to pay extra for your luggage will not only cost you a pretty penny but will slow you down. Making personalized luggage tags can help you identify your bags quicker so get creative!
2. Fashionably Late is not Fashionable
Arrive at the airport at LEAST 2 hours early, most airlines and tour operators suggest 3 hours during the holidays, this could be the difference between making or missing your flight. Have a friend or family member drive you to the airport as this will cut down on time spent parking. If you don’t know someone who is able to take you, there are many services for airport transportation, such as Niagara Airbus.
3. Make use of your Smartphone
Smartphones allow you to have access to your emails and the airports website at all times but they can even do one better than that. With the free TripIt app travelers can now keep all your traveling details organized without having to cut and paste. You can create custom itineraries with maps, directions, travel notes, recommendations and more! Purchasing TripIt Pro will allow you access to flight refund information, alerts about cancellations or delays, VIP privileges, flight status and open seat information and the ability to auto share you trip information with friends and family.
4. Organize your Family
This is particularly important for those traveling with kids. Ahead of time decide who is going to take care of what, it’s usually a good idea to have one parent look after luggage while one handles the children. Have one parent go through security first followed by the kids with the second parent the last to go through. This way if there are any problems and a child is denied or has to be searched there is still a parent with them to take control of the situation. While this may seem unlikely it’s always good to plan for the worst.
5. Baggage, Baggage, Baggage!
This is the one thing that can really make or break your trip. If you don’t need it, don’t take it! If you can travel light and manage with only a carry-on bag you can eliminate approximately 90 minutes of waiting in lines at boarding. Always make sure your bags are well organized and that you keep all valuables and medication with you in case they have to be searched as this can save you a lot of time. When returning, sometimes it can be cheaper to send your luggage or anything purchased on your trip home by overnight shipping, this can save you from paying for overweight baggage. If purchasing gifts leave them unwrapped as if your bags are checked at the airport they will be unwrapped anyways.
Happy Holidays from Lastminutevacaions.ca!