Over the last number of months I have noticed that for those who can travel at the drop of a hat, there have been many almost too good to be true travel opportunities both here and abroad. I have been drooling over the many times I have seen enticing cruises or plane-hotel combinations that make me almost weep with longing to get on the road to strike while the iron is hot, to be cliché.


But now with the holidays around the bend, the holiday traveler is likely to see an increase in fares across the board. Many, like the 65% off packages at Sandals, which ads say expire at the end of October, or the wonderful trips and fares on Travelocity will tighten up as hordes of would be travelers realize that it is time to book for Thanksgiving and Christmas.


As is always the case for holiday travel, book early. If you have not already made your plans, do it now. Not only will the prices spike, but with cutbacks there are fewer flights and fewer seats available. It may still not be too late to cash in on some of the bargains out there with hotels. We all know that prices are higher on certain days like weekends or on the cusp of Thanksgiving or Christmas. One way to cut down on the cost and to assure a reservation is to travel a few days before and after the actual holiday if your vacation time permits. It will not only be less expensive, but will not be such a hassle as you stand in shorter lines at check in.


With airlines now limiting baggage and charging for it, the trend is to bring carry on bags. On the positive side, this will save you some money, avoid having to stand in line at the baggage claim, and eliminate the worry about lost baggage due to heavy travel volume. On the down side, everyone else is doing this too and the overhead storage is often bulging and overfull. Plus, if it is Christmas and you usually pack all of your gifts, this will make a difference on how and what you bring. Think about that when you are out shopping. Also, there is the no gift wrapping thing to consider. Nothing would say bah humbug more than having your gift wrap removed for inspection!! Maybe with the economy so bad right now, you might rethink your family’s gift strategy and plan some group activities in lieu of consumer items this year.


When you are ready to travel, make sure you have tagged all of your luggage. I like to put the address inside the bag too just in case. Double check before you leave to see if your flight is on schedule. Weather conditions or just the fact that more people are traveling could cause delays. And don’t forget your tickets and passports if you are going abroad.


Getting to the airport early is a must during the holiday, especially if you need to use satellite parking. If possible, get a ride to the airport with a friend or shuttle service so you can be dropped off right at the check in area. This will save you time and money that would have had to be spent on parking your car there. Bring your own snacks too. I hear that some airlines are even charging for beverages now. If you usually rely on grabbing a bite at the airport remember it will be crowded.


With all of this you may be asking yourself if it is really worth all this fuss. Of course it is. A little advance organizing will make all the difference when you are on your way to Grandma’s.


Happy Holidays everyone. :)