Ahhh, holiday travel! Until I started writing this, I wouldn’t have considered myself a holiday traveler. I feel like I’m more of a homebody. But when I started thinking about it, I’ve been on a plane both of the last two Decembers. I made a total of six trips to the airport over Thanksgiving week this year to pick up family members (a very good problem to have!), and we’ve made the road trip from Colorado to California at least twice during the holiday season (including one trip that had us winding through mountain roads and detouring through The Moose Capital of the United States — where, I might add, I saw no moose.)
So I’ve been one of the almost 100 million Americans who travel over the holidays. Usually I have a lovely time. I dig it all — the crowds, the Christmas lights at the airport, the decorated trees in the motels where we stay when we’re on the road. But it’s not always easy. There are high prices, and bad weather and detours through The Moose Capital. And if you’re booking trips with travel rewards cards, you can face inflexible flight times, low availability or hard-to-get seats.
Venture Card from Capital One can help simplify your travel this holiday season and beyond. It’s a travel rewards credit card offering double miles on every purchase – anywhere, anytime, and without the restrictions commonly found in rewards programs. You’re not tied to a single airline, and you don’t have the hassle of advance booking or inconvenient flight times.
If you are traveling this season, Capital One has some solid travel advice as well:
- Travel off-peak – AAA anticipates a record number of cars on the highway. Try to avoid peak travel days and times.
- Expect to wait – Arrive early at the airport and expect longer wait times.
- Do your research – Comparison shop for the best deal on airline tickets or hotels. Check coupon sites for deals or consider redeeming credit card miles.
- Download apps – Download the latest smartphone apps to help make travel more stress-free. Check weather apps for updated weather information. Use airline apps to stay on top of flight delays. To avoid traffic times, use real-time updates from apps like Waze, which can provide alternate routes. There are even tools to keep track of your travel itinerary.
- Plan for the unexpected – Think about worst-case scenarios and have a backup plan. For example, if your flight gets cancelled could you snag a cab ride to another airport nearby and book a flight there, or take a train instead?
- Pack light – Be smart about what to pack and think ahead. Try to pack outfits that can be worn again to save space or use packing cubes to help jam things in nice and tight. If you can fit everything into a carryon, it could help avoid extra baggage fees and save time without having to wait at baggage claim. Tip: be sure everything is TSA compliant.
- Consider travel insurance – Travel insurance can help protect that trip investment — but also be an extra resource. Some providers offer assistance with rebooking flights or booking hotel stays in the event of a long travel delay.
- Expect to pay more – For last minute flights and hotel rooms at popular holiday destinations, plan to pay more. With that being said, make sure you’re leveraging your travel rewards to maximize your travel spending. For instance, Venture Card from Capital One enables cardholders to redeem their miles on any travel-related expense, which can be crucial for curbing those last minute, unforeseen costs.
Traveling during the holidays is, actually, an exciting prospect. Usually you’re headed toward loved ones, or a warm beach, or a snowy ski slope, or something. And with a little prep beforehand, you can be ready to meet any of the obstacles you might face.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
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