Tips For Surviving Holiday Travel

Between the H1N1 heath scare, long lines at the airport, flights being cancelled and planes flying fuller than ever, holiday travel has much potential to create stress. The following are tips that can help avoid travel headaches:

1) Buy tickets to fly at least a couple of days prior to the actual holiday, or the morning of the holiday, to avoid the biggest crowds and often save a little money by being able to have your choice of cheap flights.

2) Purchase a direct flight, even if it is a little more expensive, as it is far less likely that you will be stranded half way to your destination. If you must connect, select connections that provide at least two hours between when you are scheduled to arrive on your first leg of your trip and depart for your next flight.

3) Get you seat assignments in as much of advance of your flight as possible, if you are traveling with family, to ensure that everyone gets seats together.

4) Whenever possible do not check any luggage. Not only will you save the cost that most airlines are charging to checks bags these days, but also you will not face the possibility of the airline losing you luggage or dealing with the time lost waiting to check your baggage in at the airport and then waiting to pick it up upon arrival.

The following is what airlines are charging to check bags these days:

  • Delta - 1st bag: $20 online, $25 at the airport. 2nd bag: $25.
  • United - 1st bag: $15. 2nd bag: $25 online, $30 at the airport.
  • Continental - 1st bag: $18 online, $20 at the airport. 2nd bag: $27 online, $30 at the airport.
  • Northwest - 1st bag: $15 online, $20 at the airport. 2nd bag: $25 online, $30 at the airport.
  • US Airways - 1st bag: $20 online, $25 at the airport. 2nd bag: $30 online, $35 at the airport.
  • Virgin - $20 each for up to 10 bags.
  • AirTran - 1st bag: $15. 2nd bag: $25.
  • JetBlue - 1st bag is free! 2nd bag: $30.

    5) Bring snacks and sandwiches with you. This will not only save you money, but it will also keep hunger at bay, and allow you to eat healthier.

    6) Tell relatives that you appreciate their offer, but have decided to stay at a hotel because there are so many great hotel deals available these days. This gives everyone a more room to stretch out and still enjoy your time with family.

    Given estimates that almost 20% of the people who traveled last year will be staying home these holidays, hopefully it will make travel a little easier on the people who are still flying, as well as induce the airlines to run last minute sales.

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