The holiday season is always one of the busiest times of the year to travel. Last year, there were 98.6 million Americans traveling during the holidays, and that number is expected to rise even higher this year.
According to Airlines For America, the leading U.S. airlines trade organization, an estimated 25.3 million people will travel globally on American airlines over the 12-day Thanksgiving period. This would be a 3% increase over last year and the most since before the recession began in 2008.
For those of you who plan to avoid airlines this holiday season, fair warning, the roads will be just as busy. A recent study by the Federal Highway Administration and the U.S. transportation revealed that the nation’s mileage has been climbing month on month for the past 18 months. Furthermore, new figures released from AAA, estimate that 46.9 million Americans “will journey 50 miles or more from home during the Thanksgiving holiday,” which would be the most since 2007.
In order to help ease the stress of traveling during the holiday’s, Yahoo Travel compiled a list of tips — for those traveling by plane, train or automobile. Check out these great travel tips below.
1) Cover all your customer service bases
If your flight is delayed, it is important for you to immediately get in line to speak with a customer service agent. While waiting in line, you should also give customer service a call as well as send them a tweet. You never know which group will be faster to respond. You are competing against all other passengers to get on that next flight out, so make sure you lock down alternate plans as soon as possible
2) Buy a day pass to an airline lounge
In the airport lounge you will have free access to food and drinks, as well as Internet. In addition, you will have access to VIP customer service representatives in the lounge, which could prove to be extremely beneficial should your flight get delayed or cancelled.
3) Take advantage of last-minute booking apps
Let’s say your flight is cancelled and you are unable to lock down an alternate flight for that same day, what do you do? Well, if you need a place to stay, try Hotel Tonight. They offer great discounts at places you will actually want to stay if your plans are derailed.
4) Travel light. Try not to check a bag
You will have much more flexibility in getting a new flight if you do not check a bag. Therefore, you should try to pack light so that you can fit everything you need in a carry-on bag.
1) Book early
While it is a little late to snag a deal for this holiday season, this is an important tip to remember for future travel. Amtrak tickets spike as you get closer to the travel date. If you book early you will likely save as much as 50% on your ticket.
2) Get there early
Seats on a train are not guaranteed, therefore, you will want to do whatever it takes to get to the front of the line to ensure that you can get a seat. Try to arrive at the train station as early as possible.
3) Bring snacks
During holiday travel, the cafe car will eventually sell out of everything worth eating. If you will be embarking on a long journey, then consider bringing your own snacks to keep everyone in a good mood.
1) Get gas early and often
The night before you hit the road, gas the car to help give yourself a jump on the crowds. Also, if you see an empty gas station along the way, take advantage. You never know when the lines will start to pile up. This could help save you a lot of time and get you to your destination as quick as possible.
2) Find an alternate route
If you find yourself stuck in traffic, don’t just sit there, find an alternate route. Use an app like Google Maps or Waze to get you moving on a new, less trafficked route.
3) Travel late at night
The best way to avoid traffic altogether is to travel overnight. Make sure that you are well-rested before you hit the road and then try to start the trip after 10 pm. The roads will likely begin clearing out around this time and you will reach your destination much quicker.