Winter is a beautiful time of the year, and one of the most memorable ones to travel, or at least that is how it should be. One has to keep in mind that winter comes with big numbers of people traveling from one point to another, weather can change at any time and high prices for transportation and lodging are almost always the norm, altogether with the pressures of keeping the family together and other last minute problems can turn holiday traveling into an authentic nightmare.
The first thing to do is to plan early. There is a small possibility of scoring a last moment deal, but logic and experience says that as soon as one get into travel planning, the better possibilities and prices one gets. As the holiday gets closer a spin of high prices go in action.
Go against the flow! Why not to travel at unusual days? For many it may sound crazy, but it is cheaper. Travelers are so predictable, the biggest groups always travel on the same dates. Go to less traveled destinations -everybody wants to go to Florida or New York- but this is the low season in many other places where prices are far better, and the stress way lower.
During high season it is a good idea to give some time for cushion between activities, if the kids will be out of school at 3 pm on December 22, it is not very smart to book a flight at 6 pm. If one has to be back for work on January 6th maybe it is better to come back on the fourth, as many things can change and one can find oneself sleeping in an airport for an extra night.
Travel light, this is probably the time of the year when more luggage gets lost, so it is better to carry in your hand luggage most of what you need.
Be friendly to those working in airports, airlines, hotels and any thing related. Many of them have sacrificed the holidays to bring home some needed extra cash and at the same time make possible our experience. If something goes wrong like a flight cancellation or a mistake with the reservation be firm, but still friendly. Even when problems may be because of the weather it is amazing what one can get being nice, the personnel may deny a hotel or food, but asking for it does not hurt, even a phone call can get you a voucher or extra miles. That has been our experience.
Try to be the first in line, go early to the airport, even when a trip is disrupted those who are present first are the ones receiving better attention and more options as resources are limited especially in this time of the year.
Overall it is good to be patient, to keep copies of all documents and reservations and to set the mind that this is a time of the year when traveling is a little more complicated, but certainly life keeps going on during winter…it should not be a nightmare.