The holidays are finally upon us! Most students travel home to reunite with family and friends, and many families travel to come together from all over to celebrate. With Millions of Americans traveling during the holidays, things can definitely get a little complicated. Whether it is the large crowds or the winter weather, it is best to be prepared when planning your holiday trips. This season, the busiest travel days are expected to be between December 21 throughout December 23, December 26 through December 30 and January 2 and 3 as holiday travelers fly home, according to CNN.
Like every year, there is no good way to get around the fact that there will be traffic, and the airports will be packed. This season a projected 43.3 million air travelers will take flight during a 21 day period, according to the Airlines for America. Whether driving to your destination or taking a plane, here are a few steps to making an already hectic season, less hectic:
Be ready for bad weather. Blizzards, snow, rain and ice can hit unexpectedly, and ruin plans. Last year from Nov. 1 through February 11 about 86,000 flights were canceled at the top 200 airports, according to Flightstats.com. Make sure to have another option, whether it is staying at a hotel until you can get on another flight, or crashing with a friend or family member close by.
If you are flying and have a lot of bags, or even heavy bags, they can be a pain to carry and keep track of. Most airlines allow you to take one or two bags on the plane, and check one to two for free. Try to pack everything in a carry on so you’re not stuck waiting at baggage claim once you get where you’re going. Packing only what you need or rolling your clothes can help minimize what you bring home. Shop online and ship gifts to your destination, then wrap them upon your arrival so you don’t have to carry your gifts with you as you travel. Many websites now offer free shipping, so take advantage of the deals!
Mother Nature can not be controlled. If driving is too dangerous, be safe and wait for the weather to clear up. If you are flying, the best thing to do is simply be patient. If your flight is delayed, take a deep breath and explore! Browse the gift shops for someone you may have missed on your list, get a good book, or grab a bite. Most airports have restaurants and plenty of food and beverage options. You’re on vacation, so take the time and relax!
Make Sure You’re Protected
If you’re lucky to be going on a trip somewhere far away, make sure you’re covered wherever you may be traveling to. For those students who are going abroad, whether for the upcoming semester or for the long holiday, look into what your existing health insurance will cover. Emergencies happen, and being stranded in a foreign place can be frightening. You can make sure you are protected by getting travel insurance.
Travel is one of the necessary evils of the holidays, but with preparation, patience and a little bit of luck, they can be easy and safe. Safe travels, and happy holidays!
Photo by skypilot2005