If you have traveled a lot domestically or internationally, you know that having a traveling routine is key to keeping you on track and on schedule. I have traveled abroad for the holidays the last three years and that alone can be stressful, with so many fellow travelers doing the same thing. Here are some of my top holiday travel tips and tricks for flying during the holidays, to help you save precious time but also help you maintain your sanity!
Plan Your Parking
If you are going to drive yourself to the airport, we suggest looking into your parking options at the airport ahead of time. Since most airport parking lots are massive (like, several football fields massive), trying to find your car after a week of being away can prove to be a struggle. Here’s a tip: Once you have parked your car, whip out that phone camera and take a photo of the car and any key landmarks or signage nearby. Save it and use to help remind you where your car is upon your return.
Map in Advance
If you are traveling internationally to a place you have never been before, plan your commuting routes at your destination ahead of time while you still have reliable Wi-Fi. It can be easy to forget to prepare your phone for international travel with an international SIM card. This generally results with you standing in the middle of someplace like Tokyo with no cell signal, no Wi-Fi and no clue how to get where you need to go because your not-so-smart phone isn’t working! Google Map your bus/train routes and screen shot them before flying. This way, at the very least you have an actual map and directions already saved and easily accessible without Wi-Fi. This tip saved me several times while I was anxiously trying to navigate Moscow’s historic train system. And Beijing’s massive metropolis.
If you need to exchange currency on your trip, don’t just go to the first exchange that you see when you land. Most times, those have the highest exchange rate. Most international airports have several currency exchange options located throughout the terminals. I have found that you can find the best deal if you have time to “shop around” inside the airport and head towards the ones closer to the exit. It’s like when you see those beautifully stacked and organized end-cap displays at the market — where you are temped to buy whatever it is that they are selling because it’s the first thing you see. In both cases, there is no doubt a better option inside the store; you just have to exercise a little patience.
Happy and safe travels this holiday season!