If your flight is going to be delayed 5 hours, there is no sense in being in a rush. Make sure you check on your flights so you are up to date on the schedule.
You can save some time at the airport and help your odds of not getting bumped off a flight by checking in online ahead of time. If you aren’t checking a bag, this often means you can bypass the front station at the airport and head straight to security.
You can usually give the airline your contact information through your online reservation or by downloading the airline app. This will allow the airline to e-mail, text, or send you a phone notification of flight delays and gate changes. With airports being extra busy, it’s nice to not have to backtrack for changes. Many also use this option to give you a mobile boarding pass.
The holidays are the busiest week of the year in travel. There are many people who do not normally travel who are going through security with additional luggage and gifts. This can mean slower and longer lines. Make sure you leave more time than normal to get through security.
More than one person has received a Christmas gift only to realize it can’t be carried through security. You may need to check a bag to bring liquids, knives, or other objects home. TSA also has the right to open any wrapped packages. So do your wrapping after you arrive in destination. Consider shipping directly to your destination to avoid having to carry expensive gifts in your luggage.
We’ll spare you the research results on what kind of germs live on airplanes. Let’s just say it is a good idea to wash your hand immediately after travel and to make liberal use of hand sanitizer. No one wants to be sick for the holidays.
Your phone may serve a lot of functions while you travel…boarding pass, entertainment, and way to call your Uber on arrival. Make sure you have enough juice by packing a spare battery and a charging cord for a recharge, especially if you end up with flight delays.
If your flight is delayed or canceled, get in the (usually long) gate agent line to rebook. And then get on your phone. The airline call centers can also rebook your flight. You might be able to get through to them before you are through the line.
Even if you didn’t buy trip insurance when you made your plans, there are policies that are still available up until travel. Repurchasing canceled flights or booking accommodations when you get stuck can be very expensive over the holidays when things are already maxed out. Let trip insurance take the brunt and give you additional leverage on getting to and from your destination.
When you are traveling, it can be tempting to leave gifts and luggage in the car for extra storage. This time of year is a prime time for theft and you may find your gifts stolen. Take extra care to keep your belongings close by, even if it means extra trips in from the cold.