The Definitive Guide to Flying During the Holidays

Holidays are a time for family to come together, eat, and celebrate. Of course, most people come together during the holidays. This means a lot of people are flying and driving at the same time, making travel more crowded and complicated than usual. Include the fact that the weather isn't always the best at these times, and it can lead to some frustrating experiences. Don't get caught in the mayhem- be prepared! Finding a good flight or train trip for a good price can sometimes seem nearly impossible. This guide can help you with all of your holiday travelling needs to make your holiday about spending time with your family instead of travel.

Common Flight Holidays

The most common holidays for travel are at the end of the year, specifically between December 23rd - January 1st. Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year's, and other seasonal holidays make this a popular time. In fact, over 6 million people flew during this time period in 2017. This was a 4.1% increase compared to the year before.

The next most common time for people to fly is during the summer. Children and educators generally have time off from school, making it a good time for families to go on vacation. Plus, it's beautiful outside, so it's a great time to visit the beach and other outdoor places. Be careful buying tickets around July 4th. Make sure you’re ready for holiday travel.

Tips for Getting Through Airport Security During a Holiday

Airport security can be difficult at any time, but it's especially troublesome during the holidays when employees have more people to handle than usual. Here are a couple of tips to help you get through security as painlessly as possible.

  1. Pre-check - The TSA allows people to apply for something called "Precheck" status that can get you and your family through security much more quickly than normal.
  2. Arrive early - It's a good idea to arrive to the airport two hours before your flight no matter when you are flying, but it's especially important around the holidays.
  3. Find another way to deliver presents - If you're visiting people for the holidays, you most likely have presents for your friends and family. Bringing presents on the plane can end up delaying you through security, though. Plus, they will ruin your wrap job. Have presents delivered or simply use gift cards or cash.

Finding Holiday Travel Deals

  1. Be open-minded - You do not have to travel at the same time as everyone else. In fact, you will likely get a better deal if you choose a different time. The most popular day to travel is the Friday before Christmas, so avoid that day at all costs. Airlines will increase prices simply because of the popularity of travelling on that day. Book a flight in the middle of the week. You can even consider a redeye flight. And remember, the holidays are about spending time together, but that doesn't mean you have to spend time together on a specific day. Prices can be lower if you book your flight for the week before the holiday.
  2. Bundle - Are you booking a flight and a hotel? There are a number of services that will help you book both at the same time. They can even help you save money when you bundle the services together.
  3. Book early - Flights around the holiday can get filled rather quickly, so booking your trip early will help you guarantee your spot. It will also be significantly cheaper than the people who decide to book holiday flights at the last minute. It may seem too early to talk about the holidays during summer break, but make plans with your family as early as possible.