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Holiday Travel Survival Guide

November 01, 2017
November is here, and that means that the holiday season is at hand. AAA says that 103 million people were expected to travel during the year-end holiday season last year, and another 48 million were set for the road on Thanksgiving. Odds are good that you or someone you know will be braving the roads or the skies at some point over the next two months.

Our non-profit fundraising travel auctions can be used throughout the year, but we’ve got a special place in our hearts for holiday travel. If you or your donors are thinking about getting on the road for the season, take these tips to heart to make sure and get the most out of your itinerary.

Give Yourself Time:
Going from the parking lot to the terminal. Getting through security. Everything seems to take just a little bit longer in the winter when it comes to travel. It might not make the kids happy, but giving yourself the full recommended two-hour buffer between arrival at the airport and takeoff can be the difference between catching and missing that flight. And if you’re driving anywhere, it’s needless to say that traffic can be a beast during the holiday season – build in some extra time.

Enjoy the Airport: Mechanical delays? Weather warnings? A quick layover in an airport can turn into a protracted visit in a hurry. The good news is that airport planners have taken steps to make your stay tolerable, if not downright fun. In Portland, that means a movie theater showing short films. In San Francisco, the “Wag Brigade” is a fleet of animals – mostly dogs, with LiLou the pig thrown in – for some pet therapy. And at many airports, local breweries and restauranteurs have taken the place of the formerly-ubiquitous McDonald’s and Starbucks outlets. If you’re stuck somewhere, the least you can be is full at the same time.

Watch the Weather:
Are you driving? According to American Automobile Association, more than 93 million people traveled via automobile during the December holiday season in 2016. If you want to be one of that number, remember that the luxury of car travel is flexibility; you’re not tied in to leaving on a certain date. So when that winter storm rolls in on your planned departure day, there’s nothing wrong with waiting it out. You’ll be safer waiting until after the snowplows have hit the highway.

Smile: This may be the toughest part. Travel can be extremely stressful and frustrating, especially with the complications that the holiday season brings. But keeping good humor about you will not only keep you sane, it can help your travels move faster; anyone who works in customer service will appreciate seeing a friendly face during a travel nightmare.