Heading home for the holidays? Whether you’ll be traveling by plane, car, bus or train, certain hacks can make your travels a merrier time.
Here are seven tips that will make traveling for the winter holidays easier, cheaper and safe:
1. Browse For Flights Incognito
To ensure you’re getting the best deal on a flight, book and browse in private on your browser, or clear your cookies before going onto a travel or airline website. The reason—many of these websites track how many times you’ve been on their site and then hike up the prices.
2. Travel Really Early Or Really Late
To beat the madness of holiday travel, consider traveling really early or really late—since most don’t want to wake up at 4 am or leave at midnight. Plus, early morning and red-eye flights are the cheapest flights around. Also, try to avoid traveling on December 22-24, the Friday before the New Year, December 29 and January 2, as these are some of the worst travel days.
3. Wait To Wrap Your Presents
If you plan to take gifts back home with you for members of your family, make sure you don’t wrap them until you get to your destination. Not only will you prevent tearing and wrinkling from happening, but TSA can open wrapped presents in checked bags. Best to pack your gifts and wrapping paper separately.
4. Be Careful Of Public WiFi
Don’t let a real-life Grinch steal your identity this Christmas. When traveling through airports, stopping at coffee shops or staying at hotels, be careful of public WiFi. If you’re using your device through an unsecured network, anyone can potentially be spying on you or gathering sensitive information from your device.
5. Change Your Passwords Before You Travel
Protecting yourself online extends beyond your WiFi use. Change the passwords to the accounts you’ll be using while traveling for the holidays, such as for your banking and social media accounts. Doing this adds another layer of protection to safeguard your identity. When you get home, change them again.
6. Plan For The Unexpected
There could be a snowstorm that delays your flight, or an accident on the freeway that puts you in traffic for another hour. If hitting the road wasn’t already full of surprises, traveling during the holidays can bring a slew of unexpected events. Remember, it is one of the busiest times of the year to travel. Hope your travels go smoothly, but do plan for the unexpected as best you can.
7. Spend Wait Times Learning More About People In Your Family
Instead of battling the inevitable wait times that come along with traveling with Snapchat or Facebook, use an app like PeopleLooker to potentially learn more about the people you’ll see at your holiday gatherings. Is your sister bringing her new boyfriend to Christmas Eve dinner? You can potentially learn more about this guy with a background check.
Now that you’re prepared to travel home for the holidays, have you thought about how to survive those difficult conversations with family?