Holiday Travel Survival Guide 2009
11/13/2009 1:24:31 PM
Everything you need to survive this holiday season without a hitch and your sanity in tact!
By Latasia Brown
It’s understandable that you have a set scheduled programmed for when you travel. But in order to reap the best price deal benefits, it’s impeccable that when you make your travel plans you keep a few dates open (for going and coming) so that you can have a pick of airline prices – of course going with the cheapest fare. The more set in stone your traveling schedule is, the harder it is to save money – this will also help you to avoid the holiday/peak travel surcharges.
The Internet is Your Friend!
Did you know that there’s actually a one-time charge of $25 when booking reservations by phone? When it comes to booking your flight, be sure to make those same reservations online versus on the phone. Online services are generally free, so take advantage of it!
(Check out how to use social media sites to find the best travel deals & packages!)
Keep It Simple
Keep it simple and pack light! You are allotted two carry-on bags for absolutely no charge. If you must check in a bag, know that it will cost you a bit – and every little bit adds up. To save more, be sure to check your bags in online (saves you $5 per bag) and not at the airport. And if you’re carrying gifts with you, pack them in the bag(s) you’re checking in. If you take them as carry-ons they will be searched and some times unwrapped (check your airline’s rules so you know the deal when it comes to security procedures). Going skiing? Be sure your skis are securely padded and packed before you go.
Man’s Best Friend
If you can bear to leave Fluffy at home during the holidays, you should. Taking pets along on flights is becoming expensive. Prices for pets to fly has recently seen an increase from $75 to $100 for JetBlue (one-way), $100 to $150 for American Airlines (cargo class), $85 to $100 for United (one-way) and the list goes on. Unfortunately, it’s cheaper to keep her…at home.
Regular fare prices, surcharges, pet fares, bag fees and who knows what else is steadily on the rise. So your best bet is to purchase your tickets, and everything else you’ll need to reserve, as soon as possible. The sooner the better to catch the lower end of the rising travel costs.
‘Tis the Season to Be Sneezing
The flu is back with a vengeance, and H1N1 is its name-o. When packing light (wink wink), include hand sanitizers, Lysol wipes (for hands and surfaces) and any other germ-killing product you can stuff in there. This flu season is no joke and everyone needs to take every necessary precaution to make sure that they stay at their healthy best – who wants to be sick during the holidays, anyway?
Visit your doctor and get the new H1N1 vaccine before traveling; also wash and sanitize your hands constantly – try not to touch your mouth, eyes, nose and ears as most germs spread by contact via those openings from the germs on your hands.
On the Road Again
Not everyone flies during the holiday season; hence why traveling via motor vehicle can be the most dangerous this time of year. Here are some tips to follow to be sure you and your family’s utmost safety.
Time for a Check Up! Get your car checked out by your car’s dealership shop or routine mechanic to be sure that your motor vehicle is in tip-top shape for traveling – especially if you are traveling long distances of more than three hours.
Change of Plans. Anticipate rerouting your planned route. This can be caused by road construction, detours, road closings and the like. If you don’t have a GPS handy purchase a map or a detailed atlas to keep with you during the trip, just in case.
Thirsty anyone? Bring plenty of fluids and healthy snacks for your trip to deter any chances of dehydration or fatigue – which proves to be more common for road-trippers than previously thought according to studies by the Mayo Clinic. Being well-nourished, thus keeping alert, will lesson chances of being in an accident, especially during the season of icy roads and heavy snows.
And as a side note to deterring dehydration, it’s okay to make as many stops as you need. Your destination isn’t going anywhere; it’s okay to take your time getting there safely. And don't forget to say oohhmmm...(check out these car yoga exercises that will help increase blood flow and revive your body during any long trip).
Don’t Leave Home Without It! And that “it” is a safety kit for your car. This is one thing that is a definite must-have, just in case you need an ice scraper, jumper cables, first-aid kit, flashlights, matches, etc.
Hold Down the Fort
You’re leaving to visit family in another part of the country, or even overseas. Unfortunately, this makes many homes a prime target for burglars – especially during this time of year. Be sure to take some precautions to ensure your home is not one of those targets by:
1. Have a trusted neighbor pick up your mail and newspaper before it becomes a telltale sign that no one is home.
2. Timed lighting is a great way to create the illusion that someone is home.
3. It’s understandable that you’re excited to see your family for the holidays, but not everyone needs to know that you’ll be out of town. This also means that it wouldn’t be wise to create any type of out-of-town message for your voicemail or personal email.
4. Quadruple-check every lock on your property before leaving for good.
5. Unplug every unnecessary appliance. Not only will your electricity be reduced, but also you’ll avoid any chances of a home fire.
And that just about covers it. With these tips you’re bound to survive this holiday travel season without a hitch – at least, if there is a hitch, you’ll be well prepared for it. If there’s any other tips you can think of, be sure to share it at the bottom via comments.