Whether visiting family or friends, hitting the road for a little personal time, or absconding away to a vacation hotspot, travelers have always taken advantage of holiday months. Often though, traveling in November and December makes consumers feel a little less than holly jolly.
Fortunately, plenty of writers online have some tips and tricks to help you get your holiday travel off on the right foot. Let’s take a look at some of the holiday travel advice recommended by vacation and consumer protection experts:
Travel on the Holiday
The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is one of the biggest travel days of the year – but what about Thanksgiving itself? Experts agree that flying early on the holiday itself, rather than in the days before, may be the best option for travelers. Not only are flights, on the whole, less expensive, but the lower demand also means that you’ll have more choices, and that airports themselves will be less bustling, saving you from extra holiday stress.
Other scheduling tips from the pros? As Kayak’s Dave Solomito tells the New York Times, it’s better to fly direct, whenever possible; you never know when inclement weather or other winter mishaps might delay a connection and cause you to miss your holiday festivities entirely. The Travel Channel also encourages vacationers to “travel or early or late in the day,” as these are the times with “better on-time performance,” on average.
Travel Channel advises travelers to “avoid checking bags altogether if you can;” keeping your luggage with you prevents the risk of it getting lost or damaged in transit, and saves you from having to waste time waiting at the conveyor belt after you’ve landed.
As for gifts, consumer advocate Christopher Elliott advises travelers to package presents after the flight; he reminds travelers that the TSA “doesn’t like wrapped presents.” In general, both U.S. News and the New York Times encourage flyers to ship gifts; not only does this save you time and effort, but it minimizes the risk of your loved one’s holiday treat getting damaged or lost en route.
Look for Alternatives
The travel and vacation industries have clear peak and valley periods. If you’re traveling purely for pleasure – rather than to, say, attend a specific function – Somito encourages consumers to consider vacationing in the off-peak season, instead of the busy holiday period. It could save you a lot of time and money. Case in point, per the New York Times:
“Kayak data shows that airfare to many domestic and international destinations is the lowest in January, compared with the three months before. The median round-trip airfare to Cancun in January 2016, for example, from cities in the United States and Canada, was $388, compared with $465 in December 2015.”
Research and Stay Connected
Experts also encourage consumers to stay on top of the season by researching flights, destinations, and vacation alternatives well in advance; Travel Channel also encourages travelers to “stock up on the latest travel apps” before leaving home. And, as always, remember that if a deal or offer online or in print seems too good to be true, it probably is. Be sure to research any service providers online and with your state’s consumer protection agencies before paying up.
What are your thoughts on holiday travel in Florida or around the country? We’d love to keep the conversation going!
Led by Attorney Michael D. Finn with 50 years of experience, the Finn Law Group is a consumer protection firm specializing in timeshare law. Our lawyers understand vacation ownership as well as the many pitfalls of the secondary market of timeshare resales. If you feel you have been victimized by a timeshare company, contact our offices for a free consultation. Know your rights as a consumer and don’t hesitate to drop us a line with any questions or concerns.