If you’re a missionary, you know the challenges of international travel. Getting from Bangkok to Berlin is trickier than going from Nashville to New York. One common denominator is that traveling is usually more challenging during the holidays. Are there creative ways to more easily get where you’re going? Here are a few ideas.
Know what you’re up against. The Independent Traveler blog “The Best and Worst Days to Fly” says that the 17-day Christmas and New Year’s “travel window” tops the list of worst days to fly. Why is it the worst time? Because of the number of travelers and the cost of flights. Here’s their tip for improving your travel experience:
Note that it's not unusual to see flights departing on Christmas Day, New Year's Day and sometimes the days immediately following or preceding the holidays that are cheaper than departures a few days out, depending on how they fall during the week. If you're booking a holiday trip, use your booking engine's flexible dates option to see which days will save you the most money.
Once you’ve booked your flight, remember that the missionary byword—flexibility—is required. Security, for example, if you’re traveling to the United States, will probably take longer than you expect. From the Independent Traveler blog “6 Things Newbies Should Know About International Travel”:
American airport security is always changing (sometimes frustratingly so). On one flight back to the U.S. a couple of years ago, I went through a security check three times: once to get into the gate area, once to get into my specific gate and once more immediately before boarding.
The good news, this writer says, is that the “the second security checkpoint is often run by the United States, so if you're lucky, you may not need to go through further security checks once you touch down in the U.S.”
Here’s another tip. Do your homework. From passports and visas to currency and cultural sensitivity, plenty of challenges are waiting to disrupt your trip. Identify them before you leave and you’ll be better equipped to keep your holiday travel on track. Independent Traveler has a “Passports and International Travel Tips” page with links to more than 35 blogs on all sorts of international travel topics.
Here’s a final idea from Travel Channel’s article “Top 10 Survival Tips for Holiday Travel”:
Travel early or late in the day. Flight statistics show that planes traveling earlier in the day have a better on-time performance. And if your flight is cancelled, you will have the option of taking a flight later in the day. Also, there will be fewer lines at security.
Have you learned any creative tips for traveling during the holidays? Leave a comment and tell us about it.