This simple list of holiday travel rules will make travel during the holidays easier and hassle-free. Of course, while no one can account for delays and weather, travelers can proactively make sure they are ready to travel and ready for situations they may face while under way. These rules come from years of Christmas travel:

  • When buying tickets, make sure all names on tickets match up exactly with the IDs that will be provided at the airport. (If for some reason they don’t, or a traveler forgets their ID, don’t panic. TSA has ways to confirm identities and still allow passengers to travel.)
  • Make sure the dates, times and airports are correct before committing to buy tickets. (Remember, if travelers make a mistake or change their mind, they can cancel within 24 hours after making reservations as long as tickets are purchased more than a week prior to travel.)
  • Check flight status the day before the flight and again before leaving for the airport.
  • Try to get by with a single carry-on bag per passenger.
  • Weigh and measure all bags to make sure they conform to the airline’s requirements. (Check with your airline.)
  • Ship presents on ahead instead of taking them to the airport. (If bringing presents, don’t wrap them.)
  • Better yet, buy online (or at home) and have presents shipped to the destination.
  • Bring a snack or eat hearty before the flight. (Bring an empty water bottle and fill it after security)
  • Take along some reading or other entertainment materials. (iPads and cell phones can be used throughout the flight to play rented movies, plus travelers can stream movies via inflight Wi-Fi on some airlines. Books never run out of power.)
  • Wear a coat, even if flying to a warm weather destination (it makes a good blanket or pillow).
  • Take public transportation, or have a friend drive you to the airport to avoid the long-term parking fees.
  • Read an airline’s extra fee requirements before selecting that airline. (But, still be ready for surprises. Airlines are creatively adding fees regularly.)

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