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Travelling Half Around the World for Christmas and Yearend Holidays.

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The end year holidays make up for one of the busiest travel seasons in the world. People trek to destinations all over the world to be home for the holidays or set off on end-of-the-year adventures, all while combating high airfares, crowds and a dash of general seasonal stress in the process. However, traveling during the holidays doesn’t have to turn you into the Grinch. With a little planning and the right attitude, you can survive any crowded airport or travel delay the season brings your way. And we have you covered with our holiday season travel survival guide.

It’s important to note in today’s world each and every small travel details can be on our phones. Airline apps on your smartphone let you easily access up-to-date flight information, so you’ll know about delays ahead of time. Apps like GateGuru give you gate information, security wait times and in-terminal dining options, too.

Take the family lane. If you are anxious about being rushed through security by impatient travelers, consider taking the “family lane.” Airports with more than one security line have one of these designated lanes, and you don’t even need a family to use them, anyone requiring some extra time getting through security can wait in the family lane. Whether it’s due to special needs, or you want to avoid dirty looks from hurried travelers behind you, the family lane is the place for you.

In the event of a travel delay, don’t join the crowds at the airline counter. Instead, call the airline directly for faster service. I remember there was a time I even had to tweet the airline for a response since the customer desk at the departing airport information was inadequate.  Thou at the same time I insist that keeping a positive attitude will get you going and getting whatever information you want. Eventually, it will work out. Maintain a smile, make friends with other travelers and trust that in the end, you’ll make it to your destination. This is one of the busiest times to travel. Airports around the country are preparing for packed flights and long lines. Give yourself plenty of time, plan ahead and follow airport airtiquette.

Peruse duty-free International fliers over the holidays have the opportunity to savor their layovers a bit in the duty-free shops, where high-end products go for everyday prices in airports around the globe. Hubs like Hong Kong International Airport, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and London Heathrow Airport offer shoppers a bounty of stocking stuffers and goodies for under the tree. A friendly reminder: If you’re connecting Stateside from certain international locations, liquids purchased at duty-free have to be checked before the domestic leg of your flight. A rather unfair situation but we still have to put up with.

Bring non-electronic entertainment for possible delays at the airport. Travel delays are common during the holiday season, which means you and the other hundreds of people on your flight will be facing off for the very limited number of power outlets at the gate. If your smartphone or laptop dies and you can’t recharge it, you’ll be glad you brought a book, a deck of card or a few Sudoku puzzles to keep you entertained.

Keep all the essentials with you. Anything you need to be accessible (such as medication) should be in your carry-on. Don’t put these in your checked bags because a delay could mean you won’t have access to these items for longer than expected. This goes along with the headphones or earplugs. There’s a good chance you’ll want to drown out the noise that comes with the holiday travel season, whether it’s in the terminal or on the plane. Stash headphones and earplugs in your carry-on. Bring a travel pillow. This will come in handy on the flight; and in the event your flight is delayed or canceled, you’ll be a little bit more comfortable while waiting at the gate.

Invest in hand sanitizer. The most wonderful time of the year is also the most sniffly time of the year for many travelers. Keep that in mind before you head for the airport, and pack plenty of hand sanitizer to help fend off germs. There’s nothing worse than realizing during ascent that you’re stuck in a cabin full of recycled air with a sickly seatmate. This is especially important if you’re traveling with the family. Get your seats assigned in advance so you’re not split up on the flight.

Have a wonderful holiday season and enjoy your flight! Yes, it’s true…even travel during the holidays can be full of fun and enjoyable.

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