Traveling during the holiday season can be fun, but it can also be stressful. I’ve discovered personally that if you’re flying home to be with loved ones or simply taking a vacation during the holidays, it’s best to seek morning flights. The earlier the better.
I’ve also found that you can get great travel deals for the holidays if you’re a member of a wholesale club like Costco or BJ’s; they tend to have nice discounts and promotions to specific destinations, but the trick is to start your trip planning early. Last minute planning will always hurt your pockets in the end, so do yourself a favor and get a head start. Many airlines offer vacation packages as well, so check directly with them too. It may just come out cheaper for you by booking directly with a hotel and/or airline instead of looking at those one stop shop third party websites. Those third party sites get a piece of the pie too, hence why they’re pricing may be slightly higher than the hotel or airline’s prices. You’ll also find the most inconvenient flights that have extensive and sometimes overnight layovers. If anything, I’d recommend you stay away from those sites, especially during the holidays, as that increases the likelihood of you missing your connections or even your luggage being lost. Who wants that?
If by chance you have a connecting flight, make sure to give yourself enough time to deplane and pass through security screening again (which may be necessary). Here is where I’ll give praise to TSA Pre✓® again, or Global Entry for my frequent international travelers. An hour and a half should be enough time during non-holiday travel, so you might want to have a two hour window during the holiday season. Anything less than an hour and a half just won’t cut it as it is super hard to get rebooked during the holiday season because there will always be a ton of other folks who have missed their original flights or connections, either because they were late getting to the airport, had issues getting through security, or because of some unforeseen circumstance like bad weather that delays everyone.
So, with all that said, broaden your search and don’t limit yourself to a specific airline or hotel during the holidays. You’ll find deals and discounts to lesser known, but equally impressive hotels, resorts, guest homes, villages and then some. Keep your options open. Safe travels!