If youre planning on flying over the festive season here are some top tips on how to make it a merry experience instead of a stressful one!
1. Book your flights, and fast
So if you havent yet booked your flight then hurry up! Flights over the festive season get booked up fast.
2.Avoid Busiest Days
The busiest days to fly over Christmas are actually a day or so before, and then a couple of days after. Quieter days to travel are usually Christmas Day most people want to be celebrating the day instead of being on a flight or stuck at an airport.
As many people want to fly before or straight after Christmas Day it means that often flights are a little bit cheaper on Christmas Day as they arent quite so popular as the days running up to the big day or straight after. So if you want to save a bit of money and dont mind flying on Christmas Day then its worth looking at this day to travel on.
If your airline allows, then save some queuing time and print out your boarding passes and check-in online. Airports are extremely busy over the festive season so if you can do this at home you can enjoy the airports facilities; have a meal and a drink perhaps, before your flight, rather than being stuck in a queue for hours!
To avoid delays once youve landed at your destination, if you can avoid taking main hold luggage. See if you can travel with just hand luggage. If youre staying with friends and family see if they can provide certain large and heavy items, like towels and toiletries, so you simply travel with essential clothing and such like in your hand luggage.
Dont forget, if youre getting to the airport by public transport then make sure you take a look at the revised Christmas schedule public transport schedules are often changed, with services being scaled down on public bank holidays! Just take a moment to check out the latest timetable so you arent caught out! Also, if youre getting a taxi then make sure you pre-book it, dont leave it until the day! Again, the demand for taxis is far higher over the festive period. Or better still, pre-book airport car parking its cheaper and more convenient for most travellers!
Chances are this year that most of the country could well suffer some adverse weather conditions. If bad weather is forecast in your region then make sure you keep an eye on what the airports policy is, and also the airline you are travelling with. Check a few days before you travel and then again before you leave for the airport. It might be you are advised to get to the airport earlier, or later if your flight has been cancelled or delayed. You can find this information out online, or by phone, but be warned that the phone lines will be busy and you could struggle to get through.
If youre flying off to spend Christmas with family or friends then the chances are you will be travelling with presents. Where possible pack them in your main hold luggage. If you pack them in your hand luggage pack them unwrapped, or you could risk having to unwrap them at security. And also, be aware that the liquid limit of 100ml still applies, so for example, if youre travelling with perfume or aftershaves you can only carry them in your hand luggage if they are smaller bottles, and youll also need to have them clearly visible dont wrap them up as you will be forced to unwrap them.
If youre away in a chalet for Christmas for example, and are taking things with you to help celebrate Christmas and New Year with a bang, please be aware that crackers and party poppers and such like are considered explosives and are therefore banned from all aircraft. Do not pack then in your luggage at all!
As previously mentioned, the airport is going to be busy. That means the queues for light refreshments and restaurant tables are going to be long. Therefore do pack a few snacks in your hand luggage for when you get peckish. This tip is especially prudent if youre travelling with children!
Michelle Blackmore is an experienced traveller and contributor to the Gatwick meet and greet parking website site Help Me Park. For the ultimate, hassle-free way to travel this Christmas book your http://www.help-me-park.co.uk> Gatwick valet parking online.