Holiday travel is exhilarating and frustrating at the same time! When it goes well there is nothing better than being with family and friends but when it goes astray you end up spending hours at an airport waiting.
What I have found due to many years of business travel is to make sure all due diligence is made before & during travel. Some of the points that assist me are as follows:
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- If you can book a direct flight that is cost effective because with direct flights there are no connections thus a better chance you will make it to your destination.
- If you have to make a connection skip a major hub in a cold destination as these hubs are prone to bad weather. Bad weather means flight cancellations and interruptions.
- Get TSA precheck or Global Entry so you can skip the long security lines, keep your shoes on and move faster through the security lines which will be longer during the holidays. Global Entry is vital for international travelers coming back into the US because you skip long immigration lines.
- The less you have in your hands the faster you can navigate an airport. I have a carry on bag & a roller board. Be efficient and streamlined. Think business travel even if on vacation. Less items one carries the faster one can move.
- Make sure you have your phone charger, headset, phone, laptop and any other electric device that will make your travels more efficient and give you an option for entertainment if you are delayed or even worse stranded!
- If an airline cancels your flight and re books you for the next day be persistent. I recently had a shuttle flight that was cancelled between Washington DC and New York and I was booked the next day which would make me miss a business event in NYC and I was finally able to get on the 6pm flight that same day by being persistent.
- Try to fly the same airline so you can qualify for elite status; this will allow you to use their lounge, have priority in boarding, upgrades and reroutes when there is an issue.
- Check the weather before booking a flight and if you see a chance of snow on a Saturday then try to leave the night before to avoid delays and cancellations.
- If traveling international for the holidays make sure your US phone works overseas so you can use it in case of an emergency.
- Check the US State Department Travel Alerts and Warnings so you are well educated about the destination you are visiting and know which areas to avoid for security reasons. A bit of research before departure can spare you a great deal of grief after you have arrived.
Safe travels, be happy and enjoy!