Oh no, it’s that time of year again and time to plan holiday travel. As much as we all love Christmas, the one thing we don’t love is the whole hassle of traveling. Whether you’re going home to family or planning a Christmas vacation, there is just something about holiday travel that sends everyone into a spiral of disorganized chaos. Whether it’s down to sheer numbers of travelers, the fact that you’re having to deal with gifts as well as your normal luggage or that many have simply forgot to plan holiday travel, it’s not much fun. Don’t add to the chaos. Do yourself a favor - plan holiday travel. You’ll be glad you did!
1. Get Paperwork in Order
As soon as you start to plan holiday travel, get together all relevant documents. Do it before you even start comparing prices and looking for deals. Which documents you and your family members need will depend on where you are traveling – nationally or internationally. If you need visas, you should be planning well in advance.
2. Compare Deals
To get the best value when you travel you must compare deals. This is an expensive time of year so planning holiday travel should make it easier on your budget. Don’t leave bookings until the last minute. You need time to find the best deals. Just by visiting websites you’ll be surprised at how prices vary. It is definitely worth investing time in looking for flight deals. If you’re planning a vacation, often, a complete package deal gives you the best value. Such a package would include airline tickets and accommodation. Some include a self-drive vehicle, meals and transport to and from the airport. Season also plays an important role in pricing. There are scammers out there. They know, when you are planning holiday travel, your head is filled with images of the perfect setting, getting away from it all. Your guard is down. If a deal is too good to be true, question it.
3. Cancellation Regulations
You can’t wait to be traveling for the holidays. You want to get your bookings done asap. Before you commit to any, you must understand the cancellation regulations i.e. policies. No matter how excited you are about your trip, there’s always a tiny possibility you may have to cancel due to unforeseen circumstances. Would you lose or all your cash or have to fork out a sizeable cancellation fee? Know the answers before you book. If you’re going home, what alternative routes are there?
4. Travel Insurance
You can’t foresee the future when you plan holiday travel. Once again, there’s always a tiny risk of unexpected or unforeseen circumstances. There’s a variety of policies but you should be covered for cancellations, injury, medical bills, loss and theft. Your trip insurance should cover you for the entire trip whether it’s one day or a whole year.
5. Credit Card Protection
It’s recommended you pay with your credit card when booking holiday travel. It is easier to get a refund and credit card purchases tend to have guarantees offered by the card issuer above and beyond the retailer’s guarantees. A credit card comes with unique securities. There is little chance of getting your money back if you pay cash.
6. Request Confirmation
Remember to confirm each booking. You should have a printed itinerary of all bookings. Confirm all flights, accommodation, car hire, etc. It’s a good idea to include directions with your itinerary if it’s a place you’ve never been to before.
7. Kids, Travel & Home Security
Planning holiday travel to include kids also means entertaining them. Don’t leave without toys, iPad, portable gaming and coloring books to occupy them. If appropriate, include music and movies to keep over-excited kids from getting bored. Your kids should be wearing comfortable clothing. You’ve taken care of your holiday plan. Travel is best when you have peace-of-mind. Arrange for pets to be fed, watered and walked. Ask a neighbor to bring in your mail and keep an eye on your property.
Arriving at the airport or train station stress-free gives you the best start to a great holiday. You can relax to a degree while those who have failed to plan holiday travel are running around like the proverbial headless chickens. Are you traveling this Christmas?