tips for surviving holiday travel

Tips For Stress-Free Holiday Travel

Along with seeing friends & family, the holidays mean crowded airports and packed roads. The American Automobile Association (AAA) predicts that 43.4 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from their homes to celebrate this Thanksgiving. Millions more will be flying and driving over the Christmas break. Lessen the aggrevation by maintaining your sense of humor, allowing extra time for everything, and by following these stress-busting strategies.

Strategic Planning:

  • Travel On Less Busy Days
  • Consider A Smaller (Regional) Airport
  • Lighten Your Load (Luggage)
  • Bring The Correct Travel Documents (Especially When Traveling Abroad)
  • Pack Insurance Cards & Insurance Forms
  • Battle Germs (Bring Sanitized Wipes)
  • Make “What If” Plans When Meeting Up With Family/Friends (Just In Case Your Cell Phone Battery Dies or When Cell Service Is Not Available)
  • Keep The Essentials Handy (Extra Battery Packs for Phones & Video Games, Diapers & Bottles for Babies)

At The Destination:

  • Do a Safety Check (Escpecially When Traveling With Children)
  • Know The House Rules
  • Bring Or Buy Special Needs Foods (Especially If Some Family Members Are On A Specific Diet or Only Eat Certain Foods)

The Best Way To Carry Money Overseas

Before you leave for your next trip abroad, take a moment to think dollars and cents — or should we say pounds and pesos? Get the most for your money when traveling internationally by doing a little homework first. The most important step is to know your options. In days of yore, traveler’s checks were the most popular way to carry money overseas — but today’s travelers are much more likely to rely on credit cards, and ATM withdrawals, which usually offer better exchange rates and lower fees. What’s the best option for you? And how can you avoid those pesky currency conversion fees when making purchases abroad? Here are some tips.

  • Credit Cards – The first thing you should do if you are traveling abroad with a credit card, even if you only plan to use it in case of an emergency, is to call the issuer and ask which fees will apply to your purchases, both in local currency and in dollars. We recommend calling before each trip, as these policies may change without notice.
  • Debit & ATM Cards – If the ATM card from your home bank isn’t connected to the worldwide Cirrus or PLUS networks, you may want to look into getting a MasterCard or Visa debit card. While they look and can be used like regular charge cards, they actually debit your checking account the same way your ATM card does.
  • Cash – The first 24 hours of your trip — to tide you over until you can find the nearest ATM.
  • Traveler’s Checks and Check Cards – Emergency backup if you can’t find a functioning ATM (checks) or a secure alternative to cash (checks and check cards).
  • Sending Money Abroad Best For: Emergencies when you need money sent overseas in a hurry. Pros: If you find yourself stranded overseas without cash, someone at home can wire money to you and you’ll have it within a day — or even a few minutes. Cons: Fees for sending money abroad can run anywhere from 1 ot 10 percent or more; the faster you need the money, the more expensive it will be. What You Need To Know: The best-known companies for sending money are Western Union and Moneygram. Both charge variable fees depending on how much money you’re sending and where you’re sending it. The slower the service you choose, the more economical he price. Other Choices: Bank wire transfers or international postal money orders from the post office. While less expensive, these methods may take more time.

Tips for Surviving Holiday Travel

Holiday Travel Tips

What’s not to love about the holidays? You get to spend time with your loved ones, relax and enjoy the season. However, traveling during the holidays can become a pain quickly if not planned properly. Here are steps that can help your trip go as smoothly as possible.

Avoid Peak Travel Days

The bottomline is that it’s extremely difficult, if not impossible, to find an amazing deal on airfare during peak travel times. Not only can you expect overpriced tickets, but also congested airports and delayed flights as well. Believe it or not, sometimes traveling on the holiday itself is a better option. You will not only save on your airfare, but also save time because less flights means less delays, and a less congested airport means fewer lines. And by booking an earlier flight, you can still enjoy time with your loved ones.

Book Your Trip Early

When planning a trip during the holidays, holding out for a great deal can be a waste of time. It’s best to be proactive and book a flight, hotel room, or rental car as early as possible to save money. By booking early, you provide yourself ample time to tailor your trip to your exact needs. When you have your entire trip planned out ahead of time, you can stress less knowing you’re good to go!

Utilize the Web

The Web is the ultimate tool for booking your perfect trip. The ability to shop around and find the best deal within minutes is extremely helpful when it comes to holiday travel. If you dig a little bit, you can find the best deals on airfare, hotels, rental cars and more. The last thing you want to be doing during your vacation is regretting overspending on your plane ticket.

Not only can the Web save you money, it can save you time. Whenever possible, be sure you print out the necessary paperwork for your flight from your computer. When you print out boarding passes and check in your luggage online, you avoid lines at the airport and some possible stress. If you can’t print your boarding pass or check in your luggage online, definitely use a kiosk at the airport. Kiosks are easy to use and leave you with one less line to deal with.

Traveling with Gifts

Bringing gifts on an airplane can cost you time and money. Luggage fees can make loading up your suitcase with gifts expensive. Try ordering your gifts online and having them shipped to your destination, or at a nearby store so you can pick them up once you arrive. If you absolutely must bring gifts on your flight, make sure to use a gift bag instead. Airport security may open the package to make sure it is safe. By using a gift bag, it makes it easier for everyone.

Traveling can be a hassle but when you take the necessary steps you can guarantee a relaxing, fun experience. With Bargain Travel Cruises, our goal is to create the perfect vacation for you at a reasonable price. We can help customize your vacation, find the best rates and provide our expertise to help make your vacation a memorable one. Call us today at (800) 820-4567 and let us help you plan the trip of a lifetime!