People are used to traveling to places during the holidays. However, sometimes, this occasion triggers some stress-inducing scenarios, specifically when prices, frustrations and crowds soar. According to Travel, it's a fact that at this time of the year, navigating weather-related flight disruptions, determining how to get presents from Point A to Point B and staying calm when stalled in a jam-packed terminal are part of the course. The good news is that there are ways to minimize hassles in these times of hectic travel period. Below are 5 time-tested tricks from industry pros to make the most out of your holiday travel experience, avoid overpaying and, most importantly, prevent unnecessary aggravation this season.
If the top priority is getting the best rates, do not in any way procrastinate. Usually, it is ideal that five to eight weeks prior to your desires departure date is the best time to book, as also advised by Clara Sedlak, senior editor at travel site Jetsetter.com.
"A lot of times, airfare sticker shock keeps people from buying holiday fares early enough," explains Jeff Klee, CEO of CheapAir.com.
Remember that flights during the peak travel period, including around Thanksgiving and the December holidays can be 10, 20 or 30 percent higher than other times of year, he added.
When You See a Good Deal, Don't Dawdle
Normally, flight and hotel prices only increase as the holidays approach, so if you chance upon a great deal, grab it.
"When you see a fare that looks good, don't assume you can take a week or a couple of days or even a few hours to mull things over," Klee says, emphasizing that domestic carriers usually allow the cancellation of your purchase within a 24-hour booking window.
The same money-saving strategy applies to booking accommodations. If you see a bargain, get it, but be mindful of having an alternative option to rebook your stay at a better price if it becomes available, Sedlak says. George Hobica, founder of Airfarewatchdog.com, also notes to Tingo, the money-back hotel site, as a great tool. If a hotel secretly lowers a rate, Tingo will refund the difference in price to your credit card.
Avoid Popular Travel Days
If possible, skip traveling the day before Thanksgiving or Christmas Eve. Flying on the day of the said holidays can be cause you so much of your wallet. It's also practical to opt out of flying on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, Dec. 26 or Jan. 2 if you want to slash costs, Klee says.
Use the Right Tools
It's important to download the right apps before booking your holiday travel and heading to the airport. Sedlak suggests following preferred airlines' Twitter handles to score the best deals and utilizing airfare alert tools to stay attuned to the best deals. S
he also recommends downloading your airline's app before leaving home to ensure you pre-empt any delays. Free WiFi Finder or LoungeBuddy are tools that are particularly useful if you're stranded with a long layover, Sedlak adds. TSA app is another must-have, Sedlak says, stressing that the tool showcases expected wait times and can help you choose the quickest line.
Time When You Fly and Where You Sit
This can indeed aid you to promote stress-free flying. "Book the earliest departure you can. Sure, you'll have to wake up early, but the first flights out are the least likely to be delayed," says Gabe Saglie, senior editor at Travelzoo. Aside from choosing when to fly, selecting your seat is also a critical step. To have a desirable seat, use the savvy SeatGuru tool to pinpoint the seats with the most legroom and in-flight entertainment. Likewise, it's not just about scoring a bargain-bin seat, Hobica says. It's essential to factor middle seats and connection times into the decision-making process. Similar on Broadway, you can get a great deal for a Standing Room Only ticket or snag a front-row seat, he explains.
To know more tips this upcoming holiday season, watch the video below:
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