Tips on Booking Holiday Travel

1. Use websites to comparison shop for vacation deals.

2. Be aware of popular travel sites like Expedia and Travelocity, which promote what is profitable for them, not what is necessarily the best value for travellers. Dig deeper than sites you’ve seen advertised on TV.

3. If you have specific travel dates and vacation destinations, your options are more limited so it’s best to book early. The earlier you book, the better the chances of securing availability.

4. Try to be flexible. If your dates are flexible and you can go away for a week, say in January, you might want to wait to book so you can take advantage of last-minute deals.

5. The holiday season is peak travel season all around the world. If you can, try to plan your trip a week or two before or after the holiday season.

6. Try to book one of your travel dates on Christmas Day or even New Year’s Day. Flights and trains will be less busy and wait times should be shorter.

Tips on Packing for Holiday Travel

1. If you’re travelling with gifts, leave them unwrapped. Christmas gifts may be opened and checked by security.

2. Try to pack lightly, especially when you’re bringing gifts, to avoid excess baggage charges, which could push the envelope on your holiday budget.

3. Consider shipping your gifts in advance to make travelling easier and to avoid your loved ones’ gifts ending up in the lost luggage abyss. But you may not want to send everything in one box since you’ll also want to avoid losing your precious parcel in the mail.

4. If you’re travelling with someone, pack some necessities in each other’s bag. This way, you’ll both be covered in case your luggage gets misplaced during the holiday rush.

Avoiding Airport Stress

1. Avoid the parking hassle at the airport by taking a taxi or airport limousine. This way, you can relax and start your hard-earned vacation on the right foot.

2. Book your seats online and print your boarding pass before you get to the airport. Most airlines also offer SMS texting to your cell to alert you to any last-minute gate changes or flight delays.

3. Try not to buy last-minute gifts, drinks or reading material before you have cleared the security zone. This will save you unnecessary hassle and money on items that you may have to discard.

EXPERT AVAILABLE FOR INTERVIEW:Gabor ForgacsAssistant ProfessorTed Rogers School of Hospitality and Tourism ManagementOffice: 416-979-5000 x 6693[email protected]Not available after Dec. 21, 2011

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