Travel Tips for the Holiday Season

Traveling, whether by car or plane can be tricky enough to navigate any time of the year. When you add in the stress of the holidays and more folks on planes and on the highways, things can get even tougher. With the holiday season approaching, we decided to curate some of our top holiday travel tips.

In the Car

If you’re going to be traveling on highways, chances are there may be toll roads or Express Lane possibilities that you can use to save time. Make sure your EZ Pass has enough money on it before you hit the road. The last thing you want to do is sit in the Cash Lane on the highway. Many areas have done away with Cash toll booths altogether. If you don’t have an EZ Pass, you can easily purchase one at many retail locations in the area, or online.

Also, make sure that your car emergency kit is up to date. Common items often include a flashlight, extra batteries, car phone charger, drinking water, and common first aid items. Also make sure your spare tire is properly inflated plus that you have working jumper cables available too if needed.

Download apps like Waze or Google Maps to keep an eye on traffic. You may even want to print out directions or have old school paper maps handy in case you’re driving somewhere with limited cellular service. You’ll also want to have a weather app on your phone to be able to check if there’s any adverse weather on your route.

In the Air

If you’re flying during the holiday season, the biggest tip as always is to arrive at the airport a little earlier than you may typically arrive during other times of the year. Most airports recommend arriving two hours before a domestic flight and three before an international flight. Holiday air travel is expected to increase 16% this year compared to 2022, so pack your patience for busy lines at ticket counters and security checkpoints.

You can also consider enrolling in programs like TSA PreCheck or Clear to help expedite the security process. The enrollment time can sometimes be lengthy so be sure to do this soon if you’d like to take advantage of it for holiday travel.

Next, we recommend downloading the apps of the airlines, rental cars, and hotels you may using as part of your travels. Apps are the fastest and easiest ways these companies communicate information. For instance, if you have a delay on your flight, you’re likely to learn about it first on the app then from a gate agent at the airport. It’s also quite easy to change a flight or reservation on an app as opposed to waiting in line in-person or over the phone. It may also be helpful to download the airport’s app as well if they have one. Airport apps have real-time information about parking, transportation, dining options, and shops. Some apps even now let you order ahead at major airports including Washington Dulles and Dallas Fort Worth.