Holiday travel often comes with its fair share of headaches, but with some planning and know-how, it’s possible to avoid common pitfalls. According to global travel advisor Gennady Podolsky, an experienced trekker, there are vital strategies travelers can use to maximize the success and enjoyment of their holiday trips.
Podolsky recommends being flexible with your destination, airport, and travel dates when flying. Travelers can often save money by opting for a less popular ski resort versus a coveted luxury one or flying out of a larger regional airport rather than a smaller local one. Passing on the actual holiday or right before and after peak times can also yield savings. Direct flights in the early morning are cheaper and more reliable.
Booking flights early is wise, but travelers can still take advantage of price drop alerts closer to departure dates. For those living near their destination, trains or buses may provide a cost-effective alternative to flying. Packing gifts in carry-on luggage prevents losing them if checked bags get misrouted. Food items, however, may face TSA restrictions. Upgrading to an airline lounge can provide a refuge from crowded terminals during the busy holiday travel season. Travel insurance is also recommended in case plans go unexpectedly awry.
When driving for the holidays, Podolsky stresses the importance of getting your vehicle tuned up and winterized ahead of time. Departing at off-peak travel hours, such as early mornings or late evenings, can help avoid congestion. Like flights, reservations for hotels and restaurants along your route are crucial to ensuring availability after a long day on the road. Planning stops at inexpensive attractions like parks, historic sites, and scenic overlooks can provide fun diversions.
A spirit of adventure and activities like picnic lunches also make road trips more memorable. Mobile apps can simplify trip planning and navigation as well. Podolsky advises consulting an experienced travel advisor for the best results when making holiday travel plans. Their insider knowledge can help travelers avoid common pitfalls.
With strategic preparation and flexibility, the hassles of holiday travel can be minimized. Savvy travelers who tap the tips and guidance of experts like Gennady Podolsky will be well-equipped to maximize the enjoyment of their holiday trips, whether by air or on the open road. A few simple tricks can mean the difference between a stressful and magical trip.