December 2, 2019

8 Of The Best Holiday Travel Hacks

8 Of The Best Holiday Travel Hacks

With Thanksgiving and Christmas here, everyone is rushing to find the best holiday travel deals. Traveling during the holidays can be really stressful, regardless if you’re going cross-country or a few hours away. Luckily, Travel + Leisure asked some of their editors for their favorite holiday travel hacks, and they definitely delivered!

  • Fly at odd times

“While setting an alarm for 4 a.m. may seem extremely painful the night before, booking a really early flight on notoriously busy days has often helped me avoid the relentless holiday crowds. Arriving with the very early risers will often yield a much quieter and more serene airport experience, in contrast to the mayhem that sets in by 10 a.m. around the holidays. Additionally, if you don’t mind flying on the morning of Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve, the crowds are likely to be less chaotic than they would be on December 22nd or 23rd.” — Bailey Bennett, Audience Engagement Editor

  • Ship your gifts ahead of time

The TSA swears it’s okay to bring your beautifully wrapped gifts through airport security, but I don’t like taking any chances. And if you’re thinking about bringing a fancy Wüsthof knife set for your in-laws, you should know TSA will absolutely confiscate it: wrapped or otherwise. To be safe, ship your gifts before you leave. — Melanie Lieberman, Associate Digital Editor

  • Roll your clothes

“If there’s any time you’ll need more space in your suitcase, it’s during the holidays. Finding room for gifts—both the ones you’re giving and receiving—is the ultimate struggle, but one packing strategy that I find works pretty well is rolling my clothes. Instead of folding and stacking, roll and layer each item. You’d be amazed at how much you can pack into a carry-on. As a matter of fact, the technique works so well that I actually use it every day when storing clothes in my dresser.” — John Scarpinato, Editorial Assistant

  • Be prepared

“Whether you’re headed somewhere sunny or anticipating a white Christmas, winter travel is tough on your skin. Don’t just assume Mom will have everything you need waiting for you — stock up on helpful travel-sized products like moisturizers, hydrating facial sprays or oils, and sheet masks. (And be sure to hide them from prying siblings upon arrival, unless you feel like sharing.)” — Nina Ruggiero, Senior Digital Editor

  • Plan a staycation after the holidays

“Even a great family visit can be exhausting. Before you head back to the office, give yourself a day at home to catch up on laundry, go to the grocery store, binge your favorite show, or do absolutely nothing at all. You’ll feel much more rested and ready for the New Year than if you jump right back into work.” — Jessica Plautz, Deputy Digital Editor

  • Find a deal

Mr. Chrish Tkaczyk recommends this travel hack, “If your schedule is flexible and you’re not flying long haul, look for fares on the actual holidays, such as Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Eve, and you might find a valuable deal. Travel agents also have access to fares that you might otherwise not find doing a typical web search on KAYAK or Google Flights. And if you need a same-day flight, use the Get the Flight Out app (iOS only) from fare tracker Hopper.” — Chris Tkaczyk, Senior News Editor

  • Fly mid-week-travel hack

“Fare gurus have long suggested flying mid-week, as travelers can often score the best flight deals if they’re willing to travel on a Tuesday or Wednesday. This tip can also help beat some of the intense crowds that pack airports on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day (both of which fall on the weekend this year). When I know I’ll be able to pass through security and board my flight without the crush of a few hundred added travelers in J.F.K. Airport, I’m able to relax and begin preparing mentally for the festivities and familial spats of the holiday season.” — Jess McHugh, Digital Reporter

  • Arrive super early 

“I tend to fly the day after Christmas (always in the a.m.) and in order to avoid ever missing a flight due to the snaking TSA security lines, I forgo an hour or two of sleep and get to the airport really early. That way you have more wiggle room in case there’s either traffic or lines. You might be tired, but there are plenty of lounge chairs to curl up in and coffee shops to grab a double espresso when you’re in the terminal. Definitely better than sleeping in and missing your flight home.” — Kira Turnbull, Photo Assistant

For more travel related news and information, click here.


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