Five tips for hassle-free holiday travel

24 Dec 2016
With time away from work and loved ones to see across the globe, most of us take the opportunity to travel over Christmas. Whether you're stealing away for an impromptu city break or returning to the family home for the holiday season, you'll be eager for things to run smoothly.

There may be a lot of people traveling on Christmas, but that doesn't mean your journey needs to be stressful. Plan ahead with these easy tips and you can beat the crowds this Christmas.

1. Check-in online

The fewer lines you need to wait in, the better. If you're traveling light, most airlines now offer the chance to check-in online. With no need to line up for your boarding pass, you can cut your journey time in half. Whether you print out your pass or keep it on your phone is up to you.

2. Take the road less traveled

It's not always the case that the biggest airports offer the fastest routes, particularly during busy seasons. Crowds at security and check-in can really slow things down at major airports so it’s worth looking into using regional airports to avoid the rush. Traffic is typically much smoother and you could even save money on things like parking.

You might also consider booking a non-direct flight. A short airport layover at a smaller hub is a great way to avoid the crowds. What better excuse to cozy up in luxurious airport lounges while waiting for a connecting flight?

3. Avoid peak times

Even the world's busiest airports can be peaceful places by night. Looking into traveling early in the morning or late at night could well be the key to a blissful journey. Flights outside peak travel times are also sometimes more affordable. With fewer people at the airport, you can take your time to browse the duty free stores and sample the food and drink the airport has to offer at your own pace.

4. Seek refuge in an airport lounge

If you can't avoid the airport's busier periods, there is still hope. Relax in one of the many comfortable airport lounges around the world and get away from the crowds. Expect well-stocked bars, delicious international cuisine and plenty of space to put your feet up and rest during your airport layover.

5. Stay relaxed

There's nothing you can do about the number of people traveling on Christmas, but you can choose how it affects you. The real secret to hassle-free travel during the holidays lies in being in control of your mindset. Take a deep breath, look around and you'll find that the buzz of the Christmas season is just one more thing to be thankful for.

Bear these simple tips in mind and traveling couldn't be easier. Whether you're checking in with the family or finding a peaceful spot away from it all, this Christmas really could be the best one yet.