Tips for Traveling During the Holidays
With many Americans getting time off from work to celebrate certain holidays, some use them as an opportunity to travel to visit loved ones or take a vacation. Research conducted in December 2021 revealed that 110 million Americans are expected to travel in 2022 for the holidays.
However, because so many people fly commercial during the holidays, running into issues like stressful delays and cancellations is almost inevitable. Here are some tips for making your holiday travel experience as enjoyable as possible.
The Benefits of Chartering a Private Jet for the Holidays
Traveling by luxury private jet for the holidays is a great way to ensure a comfortable, smooth flying experience. Here are five of the top advantages of chartering a private jet during peak travel seasons.
1. Greater Flexibility
Challenges like overbooked flights are common when traveling during the holidays. When you fly privately, it’s easier to avoid unforeseen issues. Even if you have to reschedule due to weather, flying private is a much more flexible and accommodating option.
Plus, since you can essentially book private flights on demand, you can schedule your trip whenever it's most convenient for you. This benefit also applies to empty legs, which is the part of a journey when the plane flies without passengers in the cabin. Booking an empty leg flight is a cost-effective, convenient way to accommodate last-minute plans.
Private airlines also allow you to travel to multiple destinations with ease. If you want to sightsee and make multiple stops before your final destination, save yourself some time, money and stress by chartering a private jet.
2. Hassle-Free Flying
Flying first-class is similar to taking a private jet in many ways, but private airlines offer one key advantage — a smooth, streamlined flying experience.
For one thing, chartering a private jet makes it possible to arrive at the airport closest to your destination. This reduces travel distance exponentially so you can maximize your vacation time.
Parking is another factor that makes flying privately a far better choice during the holiday season. When you fly commercial, you must arrive at the airport early to ensure you find a spot. Hunting for parking eats up precious time, especially when you're dealing with holiday traffic.
Private airlines eliminate this problem entirely. Upon arrival at the airport, you can park your car and board within minutes. Because you're flying privately, you also get to skip the typical hours-long TSA and security lines.
3. Space for Extra Luggage
Choosing a private jet charter is a smart way to carry excess luggage for your holiday trip. There's enough room for you to pack all your essentials and more — no need to buy and ship your gifts in advance.
Plus, you can skip baggage claim entirely on a private jet. It's an unfortunate truth that commercial flights come with the risk of losing your luggage. If you're traveling with holiday gifts, lost baggage could mean needing to pick up last-minute replacements.
On a private jet, you have constant contact with the crew, and you can pick up your luggage immediately upon landing.
4. Superior Comfort
Experience a calming flight where you can take your mind off the stress associated with traveling. Whether you're traveling to the next state over or across the country, you can sit back and relax with access to luxurious amenities such as:
- High-speed Wi-Fi
- Lay-flat seating
- Complimentary snacks and beverages
- In-flight catering
- Fully enclosed private restroom
Privacy is another important factor in traveling comfort. Many people prefer traveling with only a select few people, but in a commercial plane, you're surrounded by complete strangers regardless of which seating section you're in. If you want a restful, private vacation, chartering a private jet is the perfect solution.
Traveling via private jet during the holidays also provides peace of mind when it comes to hygiene, as private jets are well-maintained and regularly sanitized. This significantly reduces the risk of disease exposure and keeps you and your loved ones safe.
Do you want to take your pets along on your vacation? While it's possible to do so on a commercial flight, traveling with pets is much easier when you charter a private jet.
You can only bring your pet on a commercial flight if the cage fits in either the overhead compartment or under your seat. This situation is less than ideal for multiple reasons, such as the stress your pet could experience while in the loud environment of a commercial airplane. Larger pets have to stay in the cargo hold, which could potentially put them in physical danger.
In contrast, it's easy to walk on and off a private plane with your pets, and they get to enjoy a relaxed, calm environment right by your side.
Tips for Commercial Holiday Travel
You can still have a great trip even if your plans involve flying commercial. These seven holiday travel tips can help make your flying experience smoother.
1. Travel During Off-Peaks
Trends show that holidays, especially Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year, are the busiest times to travel long-distance in America. The numbers further indicate that most commercial transportation travelers make their trips on Wednesday rather than Thursday for Thanksgiving.
If you’re traveling on holiday, consider traveling on the actual holiday or a couple of days before or after in the morning or evening. This decision could help you avoid congested airports and train stations and possible delays or cancellations. Overall, being flexible with your travel schedule is the best way to avoid unnecessary stress.
2. Pack Wisely
Packing is a vital part of travel, especially when flying. The goal should be to reduce costs and delays in security checks and move quickly so you don’t lose your luggage or miss your flight. Here are several tips for organizing your bags:
- Make a list: Write down everything you need for your trip. Pack with your list in hand so you don’t forget anything.
- Check the weather forecast for your destination: Knowing what to expect weather-wise when you get to your destination will help you choose which items to bring.
- Roll your clothes tightly instead of folding them: This saves space inside your bag and protects your clothes from wrinkling.
- Bring a carry-on bag: Pack your most important items in your carry-on — if you lose your checked bag, you’ll have the basics in your carry-on. Many airlines allow each passenger to bring one carry-on for free.
- Consider the duration of your stay: How long are you going on vacation? Are you planning any activities during your travels? Pack your suitcases accordingly.
- Understand your airline’s luggage policies: Know how heavy your suitcase can be and how much the fees are per checked bag.
Another important point is to familiarize yourself with Transportation Security Administration (TSA) requirements and follow the 3-1-1 rule. All carry-on liquids should be 3.4 ounces or less per container. Pack electronics on the top layer of your carry-on or personal item for easy accessibility during screening.
Consider traveling without gifts, as they take up space and add weight to your luggage. Instead, you can purchase presents at your destination or ship them in advance. Alternatively, you can buy gift cards. If you have to travel with gifts, keep them unwrapped and plan to wrap them when you arrive — airport security will likely unwrap them anyway.
3. Make a Backup Plan
Because holidays are the busiest times of the year for traveling, anything can happen — your flight might get canceled, bad weather could prevent you from making it to the airport on time or you may have to deal with an emergency. It never hurts to have a backup plan.
Be flexible with your plans and consider other traveling alternatives. For instance, consider driving to your destination if your flight is canceled or be prepared to book a night at an airport hotel to catch a flight the following day instead. Always prepare for bad weather even if you expect crystal clear conditions, as well.
4. Watch the Weather
Some holidays occur during times of the year when the weather can be unpredictable. Unfortunately, traveling during harsh weather conditions can disrupt your plans and make the journey challenging. A snowstorm can cause flight and train delays and cancellations and shut-down roads.
There are some websites and apps to guide you as you pay attention to the weather before your trip. Here are a few apps to help you plan your holiday travels:
- The Weather Channel: This is a weather forecasting app for iOS and Android users. It provides forecasts on an hourly, daily and weekly basis. It offers real-time rain alerts and other relevant information, such as COVID-19 cases.
- AccuWeather: This popular weather app is excellent for daily weather updates. It suggests whether to pick an umbrella or a jacket and provides details on wind speed, sun intensity, air quality and ultraviolet (UV) index. It also includes information on different allergy levels.
- Dark Sky: This international weather app is ideal for global travel. Dark Sky’s interface is simple, too. It gives you the current temperature and weather information along with data for the rest of the day.
5. Choose Your Destination Wisely
Expect large crowds and higher costs when traveling to popular locations over the holidays. If you’re using your time off to take a vacation with family or friends, you should think about your destination wisely based on how you prefer to travel.
If you like being in the middle of everything, you likely won’t mind navigating bustling tourist areas and activities. However, people who prefer less populous destinations will need to do a bit of research and planning to ensure they get the relaxed trip they want.
Here are some helpful sources for information on potential destinations:
- Travel blogs
- YouTube videos
- Social media
- Friends and relatives
6. Invest in Travel Insurance
It's always important to protect yourself when traveling. One way to do so is by buying travel insurance. This insurance financially protects travelers in the event of trip cancellations, flight delays and other specialized issues. Here are the different types of travel insurance you might consider:
- Trip cancellation insurance: There are instances where we face unexpected challenges, causing us to cancel flights. This version of travel insurance reimburses you for that loss. As of 2022, many cancellation insurance plans reimburse travelers for COVID-19-related cancellations, as well.
- Travel delay insurance: If you're unable to continue your journey due to a delay, you may need to purchase some necessities while you wait. This insurance will cover those expenses.
- Baggage and personal effect coverage: This coverage takes care of any lost luggage on the trip. If you're traveling internationally or have connecting flights, baggage and personal effect coverage can be extremely valuable.
- Baggage delay coverage: It can be frustrating when your bags delay during a holiday trip. This coverage reimburses you for necessities you purchase while waiting for your bags.
- Travel medical insurance: The purpose of travel medical insurance is to cover medical expenses incurred during trips. This is particularly useful when traveling internationally to areas where your current health plan won't cover your needs.
- Cancel for any reason (CFAR) insurance: CFAR is a beneficial coverage option that allows travelers to cancel their trips for reasons not included in the base policy of the corresponding airline. When you make deposits or pay a non-refundable fee, CFAR can reimburse part of the expense.
7. Pick the Right Airport and Flight
There's no denying that traveling by flight is one of the fastest and most convenient ways to reach your destination. To get the most out of your flight, do some research and take note of the following:
- Choose airports wisely: Usually, nearby airports are the wiser option, but it's possible to have better flights and lower prices at airports a bit further from home. Before you book your flights, take a look at all of the options in your area, including private airports. Depending on your itinerary and plans, you may find that a private charter makes more sense.
- Consider airport parking: To save yourself the headache of trying to call a taxi a few hours before your flight, book your airport transportation in advance. Hiring a car or another form of transportation ahead of time can help you have a stress-free experience when it's time to head to the airport.
- Check direct flight availability: If you want to reach your destination earlier and minimize stress when traveling with family, direct routes are the better option, as you're less likely to experience delays that cause you to miss connecting flights. If you want to make multiple stops on your journey, a private jet charter will be the most convenient option.
Fly With GrandView Aviation This Holiday
Are you looking for a private jet charter to North America’s top destinations? GrandView Aviation operates a fleet of eighteen Phenom 300 charter jets flying from our 10 bases nationwide, including Baltimore/Washington D.C., Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Atlanta, Denver, Austin, Reno, Metro New York and Scottsdale.
Our private jets have large cabins for up to eight passengers, luxurious seating and work areas, ample space for your baggage, available gourmet cuisine, unlimited free Wi-Fi and more to serve you and your family or friends. Simply drive right up to the plane and board!
Contact us and request a quote today!