Club Traveler

Tips to Make Holiday Travel Easy

In the midst of the holiday hustle and bustle, many people will find themselves traveling, but for the prepared traveler, holiday travel can actually be easy.

When Planning

Haven’t booked your flight yet? If you plan to travel at the end of December, now is the time to buy. Research by Momondo, a travel search engine, reports the best time to book fares is around seven to eight weeks prior to departure.

Another way to save when booking is to consider fees early on. Before booking your flight, determine what you’ll need when flying. For example, will you need to check a bag or print a boarding pass at the airport? Some airlines will charge for these services and their fees can add up fast. Before deciding which airline you will fly with, enter in the services you will require at NerdWallet.com to determine how many fees you may have to pay. Depending on what you need, you may find that a more expensive fare with one carrier will save you more money than a cheaper fare on a carrier with lots of hidden fees.

Also, don’t forget to download the new Club app, which is available for iOS on the Apple Store and on Android devices via Google Play. If you have a trip already booked, the “My Trip” home screen will display details about your reservation, activities available during your stay, dining options and special promotions available on property and in the area. With the app, you’ll also be able to access a Club Guide, where Members will find an engaging community atmosphere in which to offer insights about the resort and destination.

When Packing

In the summer edition of Club Traveler magazine, we featured an article with nifty tricks from Club Members for packing luggage. Since then, we’ve received even more useful bits of advice from Members.

Nancy Stahl says she only packs multiuse items. In other words, “any item that can be used at least three different ways,” she says. As for shoes, “three pairs of shoes should be enough: walking, dress and casual.”

Another Club Member, Sandi Malloy, says she can’t imagine traveling without packing cubes, which come in a variety of sizes to suit the luggage you have. Malloy recommends an option made by eBags. When she’s finished wearing what’s packed in a cube, she fills the cube with dirty clothes to keep them separate from her clean attire. “Remember to take along a couple of dryer sheets to throw in the cube with the dirty clothing,” she says. “It will help keep the clean items and the suitcase smelling fresh.”

Lastly, sometimes packing for a holiday trip is complicated by where your journey begins and where it ends. In the fall especially, temperatures can fluctuate, sometimes drastically in one day. Layering is key. Depending on where you’re going and what you plan to do, consider the fabrics for your base, insulation and outer layers when packing. Check out Club Traveler for more information about the right fabrics to pack and wear anywhere.

When Traveling

First and foremost, recognize that you won’t be alone at the airport. In 2015, Airlines for America estimated 38.1 million people, or one-tenth of the American population, traveled during the last holiday season.

If you know you have a long layover or will be spending a lot of time at a certain airport, do a little research ahead of time so that you and your family have a game plan. At New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, if it’s not too cold, you and the family can explore the outdoor rooftop spaces and see the world’s first blue potato farm in an airport.

Enjoy time between flights at Los Angeles International Airport by learning about the history of aviation in Southern California at the Flight Path Museum, located on the south side of the airport in the LAX Imperial Terminal, 6661 W. Imperial Highway. Tour the museum for free between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

Find out more airport activities to get you through the holiday season on Club Traveler, and send us your favorite holiday travel tips and tricks by emailing feedback@clubtraveler.com for a chance to be featured in a future article.