A Plan-Ahead Survival Guide for Holiday Travelers

Use a bag that fits under the seat, but maximizes space:

The average space under the seat of an airplane is about 20 inches tall and about the same width. 8: Pack external battery power in your carry-on:

Power charging stations are becoming more and more common at airports, but there are never enough. Even most big box stores will let you place an order online and pick up the item at your destination of choice as long as they have a local store there. (Image credits: Shutterstock) I’ve been test driving a few bags that maximize space and offer enough room for one laptop, a small purse and three days worth of clothing and have landed on one that is 18.5 inches wide and 13.5 inches high – just the right amount of real estate to actually be useful. Surge pricing could mean your ride to the airport is more expensive than the trip itself. The crowds, delays, winter weather, a packed schedule once you arrive at your destination; it all adds up. Get smart about carry-on policies:

While most common airlines in the U.S. This is a simple life saver that can keep you in the loop when airlines aren’t doing a great job of giving you updates. If those aren’t options, ask around— lots of people at your workplace or in your neighborhood are probably also traveling for the holidays and splitting parking may be the cheapest route. Most shops are happy to hold items for you if you are willing to pre-pay over the phone. are still offering free carry-ons, Spirit and Frontier no longer offer free carry-ons, ONLY personal items. In fact, I found it holds just as much as my traditional carry-on roller held. Spirit charges $100 for a carry-on at the gate and Frontier charges $50. What are your tried and true travel tips? This isn’t much space, but it often goes unused. If they don’t have online ordering, simply call. Avoid one of them entirely by checking in for your flight before you leave the house and printing your boarding pass at home too. Pre-order gifts from local retailers and pick up when you arrive at your destination:

Searching for the best local shops at your holiday destination is a great way to support local communities. 7. 6. Both options prevent huge total spending increases and guarantee quick delivery. With all the changes in flight policies, I guarantee you’ll be using it a lot more. Ship presents directly to your family and friends:

There are two ways to be smart about this: plan ahead and shop online only and then ship items directly to recipients. are going to be switching their policies soon, so watch for potential mark-ups. 10. 9. Get a backup charger with an Anker External Battery or something similar. Print your boarding passes at home:

Holiday travel ultimately means lines. 3. Think anything small enough to fit under the seat in front of you. 5. Or shop small items and use flat rate shipping at the Post Office to send your items in bulk. Consider a service like Lyft instead or, better yet, take public transit.

Updated: 15.11.2014 — 10:27