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Saturday, 15 November 2014

Plan your holidays today

Planning your holiday can be an exciting time; the promise of a far off beach and lazy days, away from the stresses of the world is hard to resist. However, some holidaymakers fail to plan their holiday and sometimes suffer disappointment with their chosen destination.

 The problem with holiday choices is that the temptation to 'click and go' and the ease at which you can make your choice, often with little description has all the potential to deliver disappointment.



Following the tips below should help you plan your holiday and ensure that you make the best decision:

1. Avoid peak travel dates.

At Thanksgiving, Wednesday is the critical outbound "avoid" day as a rule. Traveling on Thanksgiving day proper is often a breeze and more affordable; there are often cut-rate airfare deals on Thanksgiving day.

On the return, Friday morning isn't bad at all, with each successive day getting a little busier, more difficult and more expensive through Sunday evening. The bottom line: If you are looking for a deal, you won't find one on the peak travel days. Travel off-peak whenever possible.

Christmas and New Year's Day fall on Wednesdays this year, so travel will likely be more spread out than normal, with no obvious peak days.

2. Book early.

Haven't booked your holiday travel yet? It's time to stop waiting and start booking. Fares are only rising as Thanksgiving approaches, so those who hold out in hopes of a late-breaking sale are likely to get left out in the cold or pay a very steep price for their procrastination. The same goes for the Christmas holiday; book sooner rather than later, particularly if you require very specific travel dates or times. With the current state of the airline industry, it is never too early to book your holiday travel flights. Be prepared to be flexible with dates and flight times.

3.Research the destination

Taking a holiday package is convenient, but might be costlier in some cases. Instead, if you have time and are ready for some research, building your own trip can be both fun and frugal. Even if you are availing of a tour package, knowing about the place you are travelling to is a must, especially, when you are in a foreign land and don't have a travel agent at your service.







4.Manage your money

If you were lucky to snap a good deal on the holiday package, you can be sure that most of your trip expenses are now fixed and settled and you won't be bankrupt when back from the jaunt. However, there are 'additional' expenses which form the exclusions list and still pose a threat to burn a hole in your pocket, that is, unless you plan your tour wisely.

5. Plot connections carefully.

When booking flights, check your search results carefully for sufficient time during layovers, and build in some time for flight delays and weather woes. Particularly during the winter months, peak travel times often bring peak travel delays, and your connection is more likely to be jeopardized. Avoiding really tight connections may save you a sprint through the terminal or a missed flight.

Also, it is best if you can muscle your flight path into position so that connections are in places less likely to experience delays -- specifically, airports in warmer climates.



6. Leave early.

During peak travel times, much of the trouble you'll face lies on this side of the security check-in, from traffic jams and full parking lots to absent shuttles and long lines. Rather than striving to "arrive at the airport early," you may want to try to "leave for the airport early" to anticipate all the peripheral delays you may encounter.

7.  Pack wisely.

In the past, you may have been able to fit everything into your carry-on without having to check any baggage -- a strategy we still recommend. However, the TSA rules about liquids and gels make this a trickier proposition. For the record, you may bring liquids and gels in 3.4-ounce or smaller containers, packed within a single, quart-size, zip-top, clear plastic bag. You're also allowed to bring any liquids (such as coffee or water) or gels purchased after you go through a security checkpoint onto your plane with you. If you want to bring more than the 3.4-ounce amount, you'll have to pack the items in your checked luggage.




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