Holiday travel tips: when, where and how
By Dan Kricke
The difference between a relaxing holiday spent with family and something resembling scenes from The Omen can often come down to the simplest things. Take travel, for instance. It’s not really that hard to get from place to place in 2012. Even on short notice, there are plenty of opportunities to travel in any manner of ways. Just remember that it’s the little things that will make or break your travel experience.
Avoid long lines
Standing in line for a two-minute roller coaster ride is barely worth it. Standing in line to check-in to a two-hour flight offers even less personal incentive, other than the knowledge that you’re closer to your destination. So after you book your discounted flight using Orbitz for a better package deal, or American Airlines or your other favorite airline if you don’t need a hotel, make sure you check-in online in advance. As you clearly own or have access to a computer, there’s no reason to check-in to your flight in person. With the check-in process done hours (in many cases up to one full day) before you even arrive at the airport, you’re on your way to relaxing holiday travel.
Savor the sights
Flight delays, getting kids through security, and eating overpriced airport food is not for everyone. Thankfully, traveling by air is not the only way to go. So why not rent a car or take a scenic train route? Skip arriving two hours before the flight; hit up Budget and rent a car to travel at your own speed stress-free. Or check out the latest deals on Amtrak and see the United States the old fashioned way. Of course ,you’ll need a few extra vacation days if you plan to take a train. Sounds like a win-win to me.
No matter how you get anywhere this holiday season, whichever aunt or uncle or mom or dad you visit, always follow the lead of Parks & Recreation’s Donna and “Treat yo self.” Avoid a relatives old couch and crash at a nice hotel like The Radisson. Take the savings you get from the hotel booking and eat a really extravagant meal. Sure, the holidays are about family, but you’ll have a much better time if you ensure you’re a happy traveler first.