5 End-of-Year Holiday Travel Tips

By Jesse Sokolow on 18 December 2015
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Even when the weather outside says otherwise, the holidays are here, and with them, so is one of the busiest travel times of the year. As our series of Air Travel Pet Peeves poll underscores each year, flying is neither seamless nor painless. However, there’s much you can do that can help mitigate the stress of traveling in the coming days.

Here are five tips for safer and more efficient holiday travel.

1.) Check in before leaving home.  Either online on the web or using a smartphone app, and save or print your boarding pass before leaving for the airport.  Some airlines allow you to pay any bag fees you might owe in advance as well, which will save time at the terminal.

2.) Allow extra time at the airport.  Plan to be there at least one hour and 30 minutes prior to departure for domestic flights and two hours for international flights.  Check with your airport and airline for required check-in times, which can vary locally, especially abroad, where some check-in counters will close one hour or more before departure.

3.) Make sure your carry-on bags meet the airline’s size limitations. Most airlines allow the larger bag to measure 22” x 14” x 9” including wheels and handle.

4.) Prepare for airport security checkpoints.  If you don’t have access to the TSA’s PreCheck trusted traveler lanes in the United States, make sure to pack your three-ounce containers of liquid in a liter-size clear zip-top bag that you can quickly pull out. In addition, wear easily removable shoes and leave large bottles of water and soda behind.  If you are going through a TSA PreCheck lane for the first time, don’t hold everyone up by taking your shoes off and laptop and liquids out – these items can remain in your carry-on.

5.) Copy important papers and documents.  Make digital copies of your key documents, such as passport, driver’s license, and credit cards, and keep them in a password-protected secure place that you can access when traveling. Do not use the passwords “password” or “chocolate,” however.  These copies can come in handy if something goes awry.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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