Holiday Travel Tips

The longer you wait, the more expensive your ticket home for the holidays will be! That’s the word from travel expert Peter Greenberg. He’s the travel editor for CBS News, and here are his tips for traveling between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.

  • If you can, travel on the holiday itself. If you head to the airport on Thanksgiving Day or Christmas morning, instead of a day or two before, you can slash 65% off the cost of your ticket. There will also be fewer crowds so the whole experience will be less stressful.
  • Also, try choosing an odd route. If you’ll be going from Los Angeles to Hawaii to ring in 2010, try going through Salt Lake City. It sounds counterintuitive to fly east when you want to head west – but here’s the logic. It’s cheaper to go on a stop that’s out of order. For help finding the cheapest routes, Greenberg suggests AirFarewatchdog.com.
  • Skip big city airports. Smaller airports outside big cities will be less crowded, less hectic, and they’ll have fewer delays. So go to Providence instead of Boston – or Islip instead of LaGuardia.
  • Greenberg also says, if you haven’t booked yet, get your ticket immediately! Airlines are offering fewer flights – and with the supply down, prices will only get higher as the holidays get closer.
  • One final tip from Greenberg: Don’t pack gifts! If they’re wrapped and in your carry on luggage, airport security will probably open them. Or, if you pack them in your checked bag and your luggage gets lost, those gifts may be gone for good. About seven out of every thousand pieces of luggage get lost, mishandled or stolen. That’s about a million bags a year. So do one of two things. either buy your gifts when you get where you’re going. Or ship them “ground” using FedEx or UPS – which takes only three days. If you want your package to arrive by Christmas, ship by Monday December 21st. That same date applies for the US Mail too, for First Class mail.

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