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3 Holiday Travel Traps and How To Avoid Them

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[Samantha Brown] Ah, the holiday season. Gifts, the egg nog, the stress. [STRESS] Now, we've all heard what we should do when we travel at this time, [Holiday Travel Do's & Don'ts] but what about what we shouldn't do? ♪ music ♪ [AARP Travel Ambassador Samantha Brown] At holiday time there is a lot of advice to help keep travel hassles to a minimum, but in my opinion, sometimes knowing what not to do can be a lot more helpful. So here are 3 things to know before you go— sort of a "what not to do" list to make your holiday trip peaceful, merry, and bright. Number one, don't go on bad dates. [Don't Go on Bad Dates] No, this isn't relationship advice. I'm referring to the infamous Thanksgiving weekend that everybody travels on, and that really has the same peak travel days each year— the Wednesday before and the Sunday after. So the farther you can get from those days, the better, in terms of lower fares and smaller crowds. So it's a real win-win. And traveling on the actual day of Thanksgiving almost always guarantees a quiet, smooth trip, and who knows—you might meet someone special. As for Christmas and New Years, try to avoid the weekend before and the day after Christmas, as well as January 2nd—these are the most heavily-traveled days. While you're at it, if you're flying, don't wait too long to book. [Don't wait!] Airline fares always go up as you get closer to the holidays. Number 2, don't go crazy with carry-on baggage. [Avoid Carry-On Craziness] The overhead bin on a plane has to be the most hotly-contested piece of real estate since the Alamo. And ever since the airlines instituted checked baggage fees, travelers have stuffed their carry ons and have tried to bring more than the 2 allotted bags. Just be aware that this time of year, overhead compartment space is even more scarce. And don't assume just because you have a carry on-sized bag that there will be room for it overhead. So you want to avoid packing valuable or breakable gifts. My advice—socks for everyone. I'm kidding. But you do want to bring gifts that are travel-friendly. And remember, always go to TSA's website to see what their policy is for bringing everything— from wrapped gifts to your famous homemade gravy. Number 3, and most importantly, don't assume things will go to plan. [Arrive Early] It is always a good idea to arrive early, but especially at holiday time. Parking lots fill up more quickly, and with so many infrequent travelers heading to the terminal, the lines will be longer all over the airport. Oh, and the biggest wildcard in your holiday travel? Weather. And it doesn't have to be bad at your airport. [Be Prepared for Weather Wildcard!] A powerful storm in New York or Chicago, and especially a major hub like Atlanta, could impact huge portions of the country. Now I'm not trying to scare you, but it is a good idea to stock your own supplies. For instance, I always bring lots of food and have cash on me, as well as my go-to holiday antlers. You'll also want to bring a book or download podcasts— even a movie or 2— so in the unfortunate event that you are stuck in the terminal or on the tarmac for a few hours, you'll have your own private emergency kit. Now, the last thing you should not do is not travel. I know that's a double negative, but so is not sharing time and creating memories with the people who mean the most to you in this world. So happy travels during this holiday season. [bells jingling] For more of my travel tips, visit Travel.AARP.org. [Travel.AARP.org] [AARP Travel Ambassador Samantha Brown]

Video Details

Duration: 3 minutes and 26 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Genre: None
Views: 27
Posted by: aarp on May 14, 2014

From choosing bad dates to too many carry-on bags, Samantha Brown tells you what to avoid to make your holiday travel merry and bright.

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