The holidays are here and with it lots of travel. Whether it’s off to grandma’s house you go, or a getaway just for pleasure there are some things everyone should keep in mind. That was the theme of our November Twitter chat and we got some amazing advice from experts and the average traveler alike.
What is a Twitter chat? For those not familiar, TripIt holds a monthly chat on Twitter on the third Thursday of each month from 2-3pm Pacific Time on the hashtag #TripItChat. Every month there’s a new travel topic where we encourage participants to share advice with one another. To learn more, please see: http://landlopers.com/2013/05/01/tripitchat/
Here are some of the key takeaways from our last #TripItChat on Holiday Travel.
Timing is Everything
Holiday travel has a bad reputation for being extremely overpriced, so we asked our chat participants how they save money and when the best time to book those holiday getaways is.
- Chat co-host @TravelBlggr advised everyone to travel only on off-days and to avoid the weekend travel crush.
- According to @MidlifeRoadTrip one of the best sites to use for deals is the Expedia app to bundle air, hotel, and car.
- The holiday season also brings amazing sales and @HawksCayResort said to keep track of the Black Friday and Cyber Monday travel deals out there.
- As far as timing goes, @FunkyEllas said to book as soon as the flights are available OR to wait until the last minute for the best deals.
Traveling is stressful for EVERYONE, but it can be doubly so if you’re traveling with your family. We know there are a ton of great family travelers out there, so we asked them for their best tips on how to make the travel experience more comfortable for the little ones in their lives.
- @sarahmclellanny said to keep them organized with snacks and activities onboard and to also get them involved in planning and packing beforehand.
- As the father to teenagers, @cc_chapman said that as long as they have technology they’re fine. Now what happens when those batteries die?
- One idea that we loved came from @petfriendlydigs who said to bring a present for them to open onboard. It’s fun and gives them a new activity.
- Sometimes you have to think outside of the box and @OrlandoChris suggested taking a family cruise; that way everyone has something to do!
Snow, Snow, Snow!
For those folks who want to experience a nice vacation over the winter holidays, there are options all over the globe but these were the ones our chatters said aren’t to be missed.
- Opting for some fun in the sun, @Clarissa_xplain packs her bags for Puerto Rico whenever she can get away.
- Still, others like to experience the weather during the winter months like @Jessisawanderer who listed Iceland, Paris, and Germany as her go-to winter hotspots.
- For something a little more exotic, follow @chrispking’s advice and plan a trip to Kerala, India, or Southeast Asia! These spots also have the added benefit of being warm.
- Colorado may have gotten the most votes though, especially from chatters like @mikenobi who said Aspen is his favorite winter destination.
Get the Most Out of Miles
You’ve spent the whole year accumulating miles to use for holiday travel, but the process to redeem them can at times seem daunting. Since we had their attention, we decided to ask the travel pros out their for their tips on getting the most out of frequent flyer miles during the holiday season.
- Keeping it simple, @OrlandoChris advised to book early to snag the best seats, flight times, and connections.
- @CharlesMcCool said to think of miles differently and says that he uses them on store gift cards.
- Many times airlines, hotels, and even rental car agencies will offer mileage discounts and @MidlifeRoadTrip suggested to sign up for newsletters so you won’t miss a special deal.
- We here at TripIt support @MakeAWish and invite everyone to donate some of their frequent flier miles to help kids travel. Visit this site for more information.
Be Well and Travel Well
Staying healthy while traveling is always a challenge but especially so during the chilly winter months. Here are some great tips on how to stay healthy while on the road.
- By far the most popular answer was to try to maintain an exercise regime even when away from home and to use plenty of antibacterial lotion, especially on planes.
- Cold weather can be a tempting time to overindulge in yummy treats and piping hot beverages. @LeeAbbamonte warns against this though, saying that healthy eating is more important than perhaps anything else.
- Going the more natural route, @PathlessTravels said to eat a lot of oranges, limes, lemons, and pumpkin seeds for vitamin C and Zinc.
- And don’t forget to stay hydrated!
Most of us love to daydream about the ultimate trip and the winter months offer a few special places to add to our travel bucket lists. We asked our chat participants where they would go on a dream winter holiday adventure.
- Exotic destinations figured highly in the answers including the one by @Reesibits who said a special Christmas/New Year’s cruise to the Galapagos would be their dream.
- @TravelBlggr said that there’s no place like home over the holidays, except maybe if she could take all of her friends and family on a fun ski holiday somewhere!
- Wishing to celebrate the holidays somewhere a little bit warmer, @micheleherrmann would pick either Australia or the Caribbean for her dream holiday getaway.
- @chrispking said that Japan always tops his list thanks to wonderful people and delicious food!
What are some of your best holiday travel tips?
Don’t forget to join us for the next #TripItChat on December 11, 2014 at 2:00PM Pacific/5:00PM Eastern when we will be talking about Travel and Giving Back!