Almost 100 million Americans will travel this holiday season.  With so many people in transit trying to make their way home (or to an exotic winter getaway), it’s no surprise that holiday travel doesn’t often cause cheer – high prices, long lines and overbooked flights are just a few of the common frustrations you’re bound to experience if you’ll be traveling in the next few weeks.  Although many of these occurrences are beyond your control, here’s a few simple tips for holiday travel which will hopefully stop you from turning into a complete Grinch:


Avoid Peak Travel Times and Dates.

With a busy work schedule, this is sometimes easier said than done.  But, you’ll save yourself cash and frustration if you avoid traveling on peak dates and times.  For instance, you’ll be better off booking your ticket heading home on Christmas day versus Christmas Eve or the day before.


Expect to Wait.

With everyone flocking home for the holidays, you might as well start preparing yourself now for delays at the airport.  To avoid stress, arrive early for your flight and with plenty of time to account for the unavoidably long security lines.  You’ll also want to make sure you bring a book, computer or something else to keep you busy, and that you’re dressed comfortably… just in case you find yourself spending the day in the airport instead of merrymaking with your loved ones.


Pack Light.

I’m an extremely impatient person, so I avoid checking luggage at all costs.  (Seriously, all costs).  Even if you’re blessed with the virtue of patience (which I’m lacking), I’d recommend that you avoid checking luggage so you don’t waste your holiday loitering around the baggage claim waiting for your suitcase.  If you absolutely must check luggage, make sure that you wear essential clothing items on the plane and pack your necessities in your carry-on so that you don’t find yourself stuck sans snow boots in a far-away winter wonderland.


Save Money By Using a Travel Rewards Credit Card.

The holidays can be financially stressful regardless of travel, but purchasing high-priced plane tickets can put a squeeze on anyone’s gift-giving budget.  If spending dough on gingerbread and tinsel is unavoidable, you might as well put your purchases on a credit card where you can earn free travel and save money, right?  For instance, the Capital One Venture card offers double miles on all purchases which you can use towards whatever travel-related expenses your heart desires – from flights to hotel stays, cruises and Uber rides.  This is a fantastic benefit since you’re not tied to one particular airline and their pesky black-out dates!  You can find out more about the Venture card here.

Are you traveling this season?  What are your tips for holiday travel?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.