Taking the pain out of holiday travel

Whether you are reuniting with family and friends or stealing away for an exotic break, international travel at the holidays presents its own set of challenges. Everybody is stressed, traffic is worse and tempers can flare. Keeping a few things in mind just may help you arrive at your destination with some holiday joy intact.

Timing makes a difference

Remember that, at the holidays, everyone is on the move. Flights are full, lines are long and congestion is worse. To skip some of the hubbub, try to avoid peak travel dates when booking flights. Flying on the actual holiday or the day after can be a good option, with more open seats and a lower fare. Look for flights that are very early or very late in the day. Most everyone wants to fly during times that are more convenient to them. Choosing a flight that’s less in demand means you will encounter shorter lines at security and boarding, and less aggravation.

More ways to keep smiling

  • Try to fly non-stop. Every stop adds the risk of further delay. But, if your itinerary requires multiple stops and plane changes, book your flights so there is extra layover time – more than you think you need. Remember, the layover airports will be busy, too.
  • Arrive at the airport early to allow extra time to get through security. Everybody is trying to go somewhere and many of them are infrequent travelers, who may cause delays because they aren’t familiar with the rules.
  • Transport gifts unwrapped. Wrapped gifts are likely to be unwrapped by security somewhere along the way. Instead, pack gift bags and tissue flat in your luggage, and construct your gifts after you arrive.
  • Be prepared in case of a medical need. Clinics and hospitals at your destination may be short-staffed, depending on the holiday. With a SafeTrip Travel Protection plan, just call the 24-hour Emergency Response Center at the number on your ID card for help in finding medical care nearby if you need it.

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