Vacation travel is no one’s idea of a good time, but whether you’re trying to make it “Home for the Vacations,” visiting loved ones out of town, or just trying to escape the cold weather, for many people it is an inevitable reality. So we here at Flight Center are doing our best to come up with great tips to help you make vacation travel as painless as possible. We’ll be sharing them all month long, so keep an eye out!
The first (and probably best) advice we can give applies at all times of year, not just December – keep an eye on the fares. Prices fluctuate hugely at the best of times, and the vacations are not the best of times. Between fare hikes and vacation deals, you never know when you’ll be able to save big. Buying in advance tends to help, though, as vacation flights are generally completely filled by the time the big day arrives (take it from someone who tried to fly standby on Christmas).
If gift-giving and gift-receiving are major parts of your vacation travel, be sure to plan ahead. Shipping presents to and from your destination can save you money, stress, and muscle pain – or it can break the bank, so it’s best to do some research. Bringing breakable gifts? While they’re probably lovely, be sure to pack them with caution – a pile of glass shards will make for a memorable vacation, but not in the way you’d hoped. Bringing a soft-sided bag like a duffel bag, packed inside a larger suitcase, can also be a good idea for bringing home gifts that might not fit in the luggage you brought.
Another common mistake made during gift transportation is wrapping presents before traveling. No matter how much more convenient it seems to wrap gifts at home, it’s a bad idea for a few reasons. For one, if something goes wrong during travel and the gift is damaged, you’ll have no way of knowing before the recipient opens their present. For another, no matter how carefully you think you’ve sorted everything into the right bags, there’s a good chance that you’ll wind up at security with a wrapped gift that was meant to go in your checked luggage – and you’ll have to unwrap it before they’ll let you through.