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Surviving Holiday Travel: Tips and Tricks for Stress-Free Trips

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Relax in the Airport Lounge and Avoid Bag Fees with the Right Credit Card

Don't let the holiday travel season stress you out. With the right credit card perks, you and your family can breeze through the airport. Some cards offer free checked bags, priority boarding, and even access to airport lounges. Check if you already have a card with these benefits, or consider getting one before your next trip.

Book Airport Parking in Advance to Save Time and Money

Don't waste time searching for parking spots during the busy holiday season. Book your spot online in advance to guarantee a space and save up to 50% on parking fees. This is especially important if you're traveling for Christmas or New Year's.

Avoid Stress by Arriving Early and Taking the First Flight

Running late for your flight is a surefire way to induce stress. During the holidays, planes are full and missing a flight can leave you stranded. Arrive early and consider taking the first flight of the morning for a higher chance of on-time departure. Plus, you can even pre-order Starbucks to skip the line.

Check Your Bags for a Stress-Free Airport Experience

If you have kids or simply want a hassle-free airport experience, consider checking your bags instead of carrying them on. This frees up your hands, eliminates the need for early boarding, and reduces stress during security checks. Plus, if your bags are slow to arrive, you may even earn bonus miles.

Ship Packages to Your Destination for Easier Travel

If you're worried about oversized baggage fees or simply want to lighten your load, consider shipping your packages to your final destination. Services like LugLess allow you to price and purchase shipping for your belongings, saving you time and hassle at the airport.

Know the TSA Rules and Plan Accordingly

Don't get caught off guard by TSA regulations. Avoid wrapping presents in case they need to be inspected and make sure any liquids are within the 3.4-ounce limit and placed in a quart-size bag. Familiarize yourself with the rules to ensure a smooth security screening process.

Consider Clear for Expedited Security Screening

TSA PreCheck isn't always enough during peak travel days. Consider signing up for Clear to speed up the security process even more. The Amex Platinum and Amex Green Card offer statement credits for Clear membership, making it a great option for frequent travelers.

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Relax in Airport Lounges for Complimentary Food and Beverages

Avoid the crowded gate area and treat yourself to an airport lounge experience. Many credit cards offer lounge access as a perk, allowing you to enjoy complimentary food and beverages. Look for lounges with family rooms if you're traveling with kids.

Bring Your Own Essentials for a Comfortable Flight

Don't rely solely on the airline for comfort items and entertainment. Pack your own headphones, neck pillow, snacks, and entertainment to ensure a pleasant flight experience. This is especially important if you're flying in economy.

Take Advantage of Airport Amenities for a Fun Layover

If you have a long layover, make the most of it by exploring airport amenities. Some airports have ice skating rinks, game lounges, and nap areas. Check if your credit card offers free access to these amenities.

Don't let holiday travel stress you out. By following these tips and tricks, you can have a stress-free and enjoyable trip. Safe travels!