6 Dec, 2023
Holiday Vacation
Lifestyle,Personal Finance Comments Off on Traveling Tips for Holiday Vacation

Traveling Tips or Holiday Vacation​

A lot of Canadians are traveling this holiday season – and airports will be packed. So, let’s take a look at some of the greatest ways to make your 2024 holiday travel experience less stressful and expensive.

Cut Down on Holiday Travel Expenses by Considering Last-Minute Flight Bookings

While planning is generally advisable, this isn’t always the case. Waiting until the last minute can result in significant savings, with guests saving an average of 14 percent when booking on the same day compared to seven days in advance. The savings can even reach up to 20 percent when booking on the same day versus three months in advance, even during holiday weekends. 

However, it’s essential to acknowledge the potential risks associated with last-minute bookings. High-demand cities may have hotels selling out, and prices could surge unexpectedly. Despite this gamble, opting for last-minute bookings might be a sensible choice for those willing to take the risk.

As a reminder, it’s a well-known fact that the cheapest days to fly are typically Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Additionally, flying on the holiday itself can often be more economical than the days leading up to it.


Opt for The Earliest Available Flight

The combination of winter weather and increased passenger numbers makes flying particularly challenging, with a single cancellation potentially affecting numerous subsequent flights. Unfavourable conditions in major airports can have widespread repercussions across the entire country, impacting millions of travelers.

To minimize the risk of canceled or delayed flights, consider booking the first flight in the morning. While it may not be the most enjoyable option, it eliminates concerns about your plane being stranded at another airport and causing delays or cancellations for your journey.


Understand the regulations regarding air travel with holiday possessions

When transporting presents, refrain from wrapping them. If a wrapped gift attracts attention from the Transport Security Authority (CATSA), they may need to unwrap it during security checks, negating your efforts. Another option to sidestep this inconvenience is to send your gifts in advance.

Additionally, exercise caution when bringing food items on a flight, as certain liquids, like substantial amounts of gravy or cranberry sauce, are prohibited in your carry-on baggage.


Monitor the weather closely

When it comes to potential disruptions, winter holidays often bring rain, sleet, snow, and ice, posing challenges for both air and road travel. It is essential to stay informed about the weather conditions before your journey and make necessary adjustments. Airlines usually offer flexible travel policies leading up to significant weather events, allowing travellers to reschedule without extra charges. In such situations, you might even have the option to choose an alternative destination, though be aware that altering your destination could incur additional fees based on fare differences. Even if the weather appears favourable in your departure area, stay vigilant about the conditions at your destination.

Keep in mind that adverse weather affecting major airports can have cascading effects nationwide. For those embarking on a road trip, follow the recommended safety guidelines for winter travel.

Don’t forget to pack snacks

According to our experts, having food is a crucial holiday travel tip this year, whether you’re driving or flying. Fergus points out that some airports and highway rest stops are still operating at reduced capacity, so it’s wise to bring your own snacks and travel essentials for the journey. Additionally, she suggests bringing a reusable water bottle to fill up at the airport, but make sure to empty it before passing through security.

Hampton follows a smart snack strategy, always carrying a protein snack like nuts or power bars and a pick-me-up snack such as dark chocolate. This way, you’re well-prepared for unexpected delays or long trips. Another option is grabbing a salad (with dressing kept separate for longevity) from convenient spots like Farmer’s Fridge, which offers travel-ready packaging and can be found at many airports.


Use the full range of applications at your disposal

Living in the 21st century comes with its perks, and one of the greatest is the abundance of apps. This festive season, make the most of every app on your smartphone, from those facilitating last-minute flight and hotel bookings to your preferred streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, HBO, and more. Additionally, leverage map apps to ensure you stay on course. Download movies, store your flight details in your phone’s wallet, and keep directions readily available to be well-prepared for any situation, ensuring entertainment even during extended flights.


Verify the operating hours of the attractions

Keep in mind that, just like you, hospitality and attraction staff also take holiday breaks. Before visiting your desired destinations, make sure to be aware of any altered holiday hours. It’s common for businesses to have shortened hours or designated days of closure to allow their employees to enjoy some time off as well.


Consider a strategic approach when it comes to handling your luggage

While it’s preferable to carry your bags, there is merit in checking all your items, especially if you’re navigating the airport with kids in tow. Opting to check your bags grants you freedom as your hands are unburdened, alleviating concerns about securing overhead bin space or rushing for early boarding. It also reduces stress during security screenings, eliminating the need to unpack half your belongings for the bins.

Although checking bags may slightly impede your pace, it can yield additional perks like earning bonus miles if your luggage takes its time at the baggage claim. For a hassle-free experience, you can go the extra mile and bypass the baggage claim entirely, opting to have your checked bags delivered directly to your destination.

It’s worth noting that the right credit card can prove invaluable when checking bags during the holiday season. If you choose to bring a carry-on, carefully review the terms of your ticket. Travelling on basic economy or with a budget airline might mean your fare doesn’t cover a free full-size carry-on. In such cases, strategic planning involves condensing your belongings—consider how many family members can manage with just a backpack. The fewer bags, whether checked or carry-on, that you need to pay for, the more cost-effective your journey becomes.


May your journeys be filled with warmth, good company, and smooth passages. Whether you’re heading home to loved ones or embarking on a new adventure, may the spirit of the season accompany you throughout your travels. Safe journey and happy holidays!