Your Stress-Free Holiday Starts Here
Your Travel Itinerary
Book your flight for early on Christmas Day. "It's considerably less hectic than December 24," says Jen Catto, a senior editor at Travelocity.
Surf the Web for deals. Forgot to make a reservation? "The Internet is your best bet for last-minute offers," says James Sherman, CEO and founder of Sherman's Travel Web site and magazine. "Airlines generally release them on Mondays and Tuesdays for travel that weekend." You're more likely to find a good price if you're flexible with your airport choice, adds Jeff Varhol, general manager of Site59.com, where you can book a flight three hours before departure. For instance, if you're trying to get to New York City, include the White Plains and Islip airports in your search.
Ship ahead. Consider sending gifts to your destination in advance. Checking your loads of stuff, particularly with the new carry-on restrictions, can result in longer waits, says Catto. And sadly, wrapped presents may have to be opened by airport security.
Buy a day pass for your airline's first-class and business lounge. "It'll cost about $50, but it's really worth the money if you've got a long wait or layover," says Sherman. "The seats are more comfortable, snacks and drinks are available, and there are TVs and sometimes showers." You'll likely need to purchase the pass ahead of time; check the airline's Web site.
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