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How To Beat Holiday Travel Stress

(ARA) - The holidays are one of the busiest times of the year for air travel. While long lines, road-weary passengers and hard-to-find parking are inevitable, here are few things you can do to make your trip less stressful despite the endless crowds.

Find the Sale

Take the extra time to search for cheap fares and online discounts. Look for Web sites like www.kayak.com that compare pricing, and sign up for low fare and deal alerts. Online discounts for airlines are also available at coupon sites like www.couponcabin.com. Searching early is also a key to holiday travel success. Flights notoriously book fast, so do your homework sooner than later. Making reservations as soon as possible will help you avoid inflated prices and full flights.

Be Open to Options

Try to be flexible when you book your travel arrangements this year. The date of departure is one of the key factors in determining price. Do your research before you set your exact travel schedule, and remember that traveling on the busiest days of the year can be both stressful and pricey.

Spot a Place to Park

One of the most frustrating parts of traveling is not being able to park conveniently. Lack of spots, long walking distances and high prices all contribute to poor parking options. Try taking advantage of parking facilities that are located next to the airport. Off-airport parking company, The Parking Spot, lets you make online reservations (www.theparkingspot.com) - a holiday travel must. And unlike parking onsite at the air-port, off-airport parking facilities often include special perks. The Parking Spot offers free bottled water and a frequent parking club.

Pack Like a Pro

Over packing is a common problem that can slow you down and build frustration in a matter of minutes. Plan well and bring only what you need, keeping in mind that you may have more items on your return trip. Well-packed passengers should take advantage of curb-side check-in. Although a small fee may be involved, the time saved is well worth it, as is printing your boarding pass online before you arrive.

Don¹t be Surprised at Security

Even if the lines are long, being prepared will help get you through the security checkpoints quickly. With the strict federal regulations regarding carry-on items, it¹s important to know what you can and cannot bring in your carry-on luggage. When in doubt, check www.tsa.gov. The easiest way is to pack all liquids, gels and creams in your checked luggage. If you want to carry on toiletries, they cannot be more than 3 ounces each and all items must fit in a 1-quart plastic zip-close bag. Wearing shoes that can easily be slipped on and off is another small way to save time and frustration, especially if you are traveling with children.

Have Fun

Holiday travel is bound to have its stressful moments and last minute changes, but try to keep your sense of humor. Despite the hassle, time away from home and good memories with family and friends should make it worth while. Keep a light hearted approach and laugh as much as you can.

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