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The holidays are a busy time of year, with parties, seeing family and friends, and plenty of shopping. The hustle and bustle also extends to travel. Winter can the most hectic time to travel. Flights are crowded, more expensive, and all in all chaotic. If you are planning on traveling during the upcoming holidays, the following are a few pieces of advice that will help you keep your sanity. 


Prepare for the Worst

Due to the crowds of people, busyness of the holidays, and problematic weather, you’ll likely run into more problems during this time of the year than any other. Be prepared, and expect the worst. Do you have a back up plan? Don’t forget to bring extra cash for any unexpected expenses. Pack a carry-on bag in case the airline loses your luggage. You should also bring snacks in case your flight is delayed and you miss a meal. 

If something goes wrong, try to stay relaxed and don’t panic. Bring or book to read or something else to do, and take advantage of the time you have if a flight is delayed or any similar problems. 


Be Flexible When Booking Tickets

When booking a plane ticket, extend your search to include alternate nearby airports. You may be able to find a cheaper deal on flights or rental cars but purchasing a ticket somewhere than your usual airport. 

If you timeline allows it, avoid peak travel days. Many flight search engines allow you to check a box for “flexible dates,” which shows you prices for the days close to the days you originally selected. Sometimes leaving the day before or later will save you a significant amount of money. 

Nobody likes early morning or late night flights, but you can take advantage of the lack of interest. Normally flights during these times are cheaper than more convenient day ones. 


Give Yourself Plenty of Time

Don’t rush to the airport during the last minute. This will only make you feel more stressed and increase the chance that you will miss your flight. It’s far better to arrive too early than too late. Even if the lines are short, you’ll still be able to wait at your gate. 


Should you miss your flight, getting on the next one will be difficult. Flights are often packed during the holidays, so airlines aren’t very flexible.