When the weather grows colder, and we wave goodbye to fun in the sun, it is becoming common to take a vacation over the Christmas period. It’s easy to see why: there’s something truly magical about seeing new parts of the world when the Christmas cheer is everywhere. Of course, you could take the opportunity to travel somewhere that has no Christmas decorations whatsoever!
Whether you’re traveling over Christmas to enjoy the seasonal festivities or as a way to escape the baubles, glitter, and trees, here are some of the best tips for preparing for the getaway. If you get this part right, you might decide to make it an annual event!
Check your travel dates
Peak travel times should always be avoided. Christmas is especially difficult to work out as the day that December 25th falls on each year is different. Look at price comparison sites and be flexible about your travel dates. A good rule of thumb, however, is never to travel when everyone else is planning to.
Look at airport options
Choosing a smaller airport to fly from or land at could be a real money saver over the festive period. This is a fairly common tactic all year round, but it’s especially useful at this time of year. As the number of flights reduces everywhere, you might find a real bargain just by being willing to travel a slightly different route.
Be aware of the weather
Of course, it’s a little chilly in December, and bad weather can change your plans quickly. Always be prepared for possible flight delays, particularly over the colder months. Pack your case accordingly by checking the weather before you depart, including what to wear when you get to your destination. If you are traveling from a hot climate, arriving in northern Europe in shorts and a t-shirt will definitely have you feeling the chill!
Plan your connections
Those flight delays can have a knock-on effect if you have a connecting flight to make. Plan your journey with enough space to make your deadlines. Make sure that you have plenty of time to meet your connection, and you’ll reduce the risk of sprinting through the airport lounge. However, if your flight is delayed by more than three hours, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the experts at FairPlane to find out if this applies to you.
The quietest time in an airport is late at night or early in the day. These are also the times of day when delays are less likely, so they’re an excellent opportunity to make your travel process much smoother. Remember that check-in times might take a little longer, as there is usually less staff working at these times.
If there are any issues with your flight, never take it out on the airport staff. It’s Christmas, it’s busy, and they have remarkably little influence on the weather or delayed flight arrivals. They can also make your flight very miserable, and nobody responds well to frustrated outbursts.
Prepare to wait
Traveling at Christmas is popular, making it a lot busier than you might have assumed. Although most people are used to the security arrangements at airports now, there are always going to be people in the line who don’t fly as frequently and will always have a bottle of liquid they shouldn’t have. Be patient.
Traveling at Christmas can be absolutely magical, but that can be very dependant on your attitude and planning. Prepare for mishaps, make sure your itinerary is well-thought out, and relax. If you have a window seat, gaze out of the window, and you might just spot a bearded man on a sleigh!