Travel Planning for the Holiday Season
As we enter the ‘ber Months, people’s Holiday plans begin to take shape. Some have already put plans together for huge family reunions, organizing flights into or out of the country, finding a venue, booking hotels – the list is endless and tireless, all for a few days’ quality time with family.

It takes suave organization in order to ensure that everything goes off without a hitch. It’s not to say that travel planning for the holiday season is an impossible accomplishment, but even the best laid plans tend to have a few hiccups. Here are a few ways you can limit those hiccups and have a successful holiday.

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Don’t procrastinate

Planning and paying for flights in advance of your travel date is always a good idea. It allows you to avoid exorbitant booking fees and lets you take advantage of seat sales through various carriers.

Book your flights as soon as possible, and if traveling with connecting flights, you’ll want to plan these connecting flights as well. While you’re at it, a skeletal itinerary of activities at your destination is an ideal thing to write down, leaving room for small eventual deviations.

Avoid peak travel dates

When you’re booking flights, it’s ideal that you leave at least two or three days ahead of when most other people will be traveling. It’s less stressful all around. The same rule applies even if you’re traveling by car or bus. Traffic can be hellish when everybody’s trying to get out of the metro at the same time.

Try to set your departure dates both to and from your destination on days that may have less people traveling.

Use your discounts

If you’ve got a co-branded credit card with an airline, now’s the best time to cash in those frequent flier points, you never know what kind of discounts and freebies you could get by using your credit card.

Take advantage of any travel promos at the time you decide to book your flights if you’re flying out. By the same token, if you’re reserving accommodation – using coupons or discount websites will be the best use of your cash, not only will you be able to save some money during Christmas, you can also get prime rooms way before most people can.

Inefficient gifting and packing

When traveling, every bit of space in your luggage is going to be used. It’s much worse when you’ve got to travel AND take gifts along for the family. Given how large an event the holidays are for Filipinos, traveling with a lot of items can be a cause for delays and a lack of space.

To make the most out of what limited space you do have, it’s probably ideal to give family gift checks specific to what they might want, or give them cash to use as they might want to. As for packing, try to limit your luggage to two plus a carry on. Have a weighing scale handy so that you have a better estimate when it comes to the weight of your baggage.

Final thoughts

Keeping your cool throughout the process is a necessity. It’s easy to get frustrated with long queues, and unexpected occurrences, even when you’ve planned everything to the last nanosecond. Take a deep breath, let it out, and have a little faith that things will work out – especially when you take into account these tips to help you get the festivities on track.

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