In the next few weeks, millions of travelers will take to the skies to go home for the holidays, but getting there isn’t always full of good tidings and joy. As our gift to you this season, Airport Parking Reservations is giving you the 12 holiday travel hassles and, more importantly, how to avoid them.
1. Snowy winter weather. While it’s impossible to control the weather, you can be prepared for it. Check the forecast for your destination the night before you leave, so that you can pack accordingly. Also, check your local forecast to find out if your area is expecting inclement weather that could delay your travel plans.
2. Standing in line. Skip the stress of waiting in line at the ticket counter by printing your boarding pass at home or at the airline’s check-in kiosks. Many airlines also allow passengers to download their boarding pass to their smart phones.
3. Security line pat-downs. The last thing you want to deal with when traveling is a pat down from a friendly airport security officer. To avoid security line headaches, check out the Transportation Security Administration’s tips for travelers before you leave, and remember you must remove your boots (or shoes), coat, belt, Santa hat, and sleigh keys before going through the scanners.
4. Crowded, confusing airports. The holidays are airports’ busiest time of year, and the large crowds can be especially overwhelming if you’re in an unfamiliar airport. If you’re arriving or traveling through an airport that’s new, consider printing out a map of the airport before you leave and maybe bringing along some cookies. The map will prevent you from getting lost and missing your flight, and the cookies will come in handy if you have to bribe an airport employee.
5. Sky-high baggage fees. Don’t let the airline company be the Grinch that stole Christmas. Before you start packing, check your airline’s baggage policy, including the number of bags allowed per person, weight limits for baggage, and fees for additional luggage and bag weight. If you don’t want to pay baggage fees, pack light and carry your bags on. Most airlines limit carry-on luggage to one bag and one personal item, such as a purse, laptop case, or other small item that will fit under a seat.
6. Food that’s worse than fruitcake. Most airport eateries are not known for their five-star cuisine. If you are a picky eater or you are traveling with one, pack a snack to tide you over while you are airborne. Just remember that you can’t take more than three ounces of liquid through security.
7. Unwrapping gifts. You know the gift-wrapped box in your luggage contains a reindeer sweater for Uncle Arnold – not a bomb – but the TSA elves don’t. Save yourself from the hassle of unwrapping gifts in the security line and wrap them when you arrive at your destination. You can also ship gifts to your destination ahead of time and avoid traveling with them all together.
8. Hacking holiday travelers. Tis the season for holiday colds, the flu, and other contagious ailments, and with thousands of people passing through each day, airports are a breeding ground for germs. Don’t let a sickness spoil your holiday, remember to wash your hands often, stay hydrated, and get plenty of rest before you leave.
9. Holiday thieves. It may be a holly, jolly season for most people, but some like to spoil the merriment by stealing from unsuspecting travelers. Keep crooks at bay by paying close attention to your luggage, purse, and other personal belongings when you’re in crowded places. You may also want to safeguard your home before traveling by installing automatic timers on lights, arming your security system, and notifying a neighbor that you are going out of town.
10. Missed flights, cancellations and delays. There’s a good chance you might end up stuck in an airport for longer than you planned this holiday season. Flight delays, cancellations, and layovers are frustrating, but you can make the most of your extended airport stay by bringing some entertainment, such as a book, computer, DVD player, or iPod. Make sure to arrive at the airport at least an hour early so that you don’t miss your plane or get bumped from the flight. You should also consider booking your flight earlier in the day when flights are more likely to depart on time.
11. Pushy people panicking. Traveling is stressful for a lot of people, and when you add the holidays into the mix, even the most well-mannered person can morph into Ebenezer Scrooge. Don’t let pushy, rude, or impatient people get the best of you. If you’re confronted with such a person, don’t lose your temper. Instead, take a deep breath, relax, and remember that you’ll soon be amongst family and friends. And if the person’s especially mean-spirited, wish them a happy holiday.
12. Finding a parking spot at the airport. This travel pain is easy to remedy! Just visit www.airportparkingreservations.com to make your airport parking reservations, so that you can park quickly and be on your merry way! Also, check out the coupon codes in this newsletter for additional holiday savings at some of our airports.