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Make traveling during the holidays easy with these tips and tricks

Planning to spread holiday cheer away from home this year? You may be dreading the logistics, crowds, and prices. With a bit of planning, traveling during the holidays doesn’t have to be painful. Here is the Hilton Grand Vacations list of top 14 holiday travel tips to help navigate the most wonderful time of the year.

Don’t Procrastinate

Don’t wait until the last minute to book your holiday travel plans. You’ll be left with undesirable flight times, and exorbitant prices. Plan ahead as far as possible.

Avoid Peak Travel Days

Try not to fly during popular travels days. For example, during Thanksgiving, avoid flying Wednesday, and find another day to fly home other than Sunday. If you have flexibility outside of school holidays, consider flying on Thanksgiving morning and come home the following week when kids are already back in school.

Follow the Deals

Make sure you are following airlines and travel deal sites on social media, and sign up for their newsletters. If flash sales or last minute deals are announced, you’ll be the first to know.

Early Morning Flights

Nothing can put a damper on your holiday spirit more than a delayed or canceled flight. We know it isn’t fun to wake up when it’s still dark outside, but try and book the first flights out in the morning to avoid late afternoon and evening delays.

Airplane sitting during the sunrise

Be Careful with Connections

If you are traveling across the country or to a destination that requires a change of planes, be careful of the airports you transfer in. Since it’s winter, there might be severe weather in the midwest and east coast. Book a nonstop if you can, but if it’s unavoidable, try airports that are less likely face severe weather.

Consider Alternatives

Be flexible whenever you can, whether it’s with your travel dates, departure and/or arrival airport, or destination. Your destination may be set in stone if you are traveling back home for the holidays, but you can consider flying during cheaper dates. If there are multiple airports near your destination, research to see which is cheaper. Considering all your options can save you money and helps avoid the stress of holiday crowds.

Load Your Phone With Useful Travel Apps

Before and during your travels, be sure to utilize some travel apps. SeatGuru, Waze, Google Trips, and more can help you plan ahead, check flight times and security line wait times, and avoid crowds during your stay.

Man using iphone

Carry-On Only

With all the fears of delayed flights, changing plans, and lost baggage, you don’t want to add more stress to your holiday traveling. Stick to carry-on luggage only. We know you can do it.

Bring an Empty Bag

Make sure you have enough suitcases to bring home any gifts you receive. Bring a folded up duffel bag, so you have plenty of space. You can check your bag for the flight back home, or consider shipping your gifts back home.

Ship Gifts. Don’t Pack Them

If you are planning on bringing gifts with you during your holiday travels, ship them ahead of time instead of packing them. This way you don’t have to sacrifice valuable space in your carry-on.

Don’t Wrap Gifts Ahead of Time

Save present wrapping for when you arrive at your destination. Wrapped gifts can be torn during travels, and you run the risk of security questioning what’s behind the wrapping paper.

Girls wrapping presents

Less Gifts. More Experiences.

If you are traveling with family and friends over the holidays, consider planning more experiences together. You’ll make more memories getting out and exploring, rather than worrying too much about piles of presents.

Hand Sanitizer & Wipes

Don’t forget to pack plenty of travel size hand sanitizers. Traveling during cold and flu season can give you a gift you don’t want to receive. Being sick during or after your vacation can create holiday gloom. Wipe down airplane seats and tray tables, and use copious amounts of hand sanitizer.

Keep Your Cool and Spread Holiday Cheer

If things don’t go as you envisioned, don’t let stress get the best of you. Being extra nice to airport employees and flight attendants can work to your benefit. People don’t respond well to anger, and it’s usually not their fault if travel plans go awry. Consider writing thank you cards to the pilots and flight attendants to make traveling around the holidays more enjoyable for everyone.

Christmas cookies

Ready to hop in your one-horse open sleigh and experience the vacation of a lifetime? Read on to learn about why Hilton Grand Vacations resorts offer the perfect holiday getaway.

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