Iowa, You Can Avoid Holiday Travel Nightmares Starting Now
We're inching closer to the holidays and that always means travel disasters.
Thanksgiving and Christmas are both a hot minute away (so you have time to build up the mental fortitude to deal with your family). We've all seen and lived the airport horror stories of flights getting extremely delayed or canceled, getting stuck in awful traffic on the interstate, or running into any kind of logistics nightmare that keeps us from getting to the turkey on the table.
A new study from AAA says that over half of Iowa residents are already planning their holiday travels. By the end of September, 55% of Iowans will have already booked their Thanksgiving trips. That includes me and my sad credit card for sure.
Most Iowans (31% of us) are waiting until October to book their Christmas travel plans. It's always smart to put in your PTO requests as early as you can, right?
Ways To Avoid The Holiday Travel Circle Of Hell
Experts say to go ahead and book early as soon as you finalize your plans. If you try to wait until the last minute to get last-minute rates, the plans you want may be gone. If you're driving a long way, book your hotel stops.
For the week of Turkey Day, the busiest travel days will be Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday. If you can, book a flight the Sunday or Monday before and the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
Most people travel 2-4 days before Christmas. It's on a Monday this year so the Friday & Saturday before Christmas will likely be nuts at the airports and on the roads.
If you're flying, the AAA says you should book early, but also:
- Book a direct flight in the morning. Afternoon & night flights can be more vulnerable to messy schedule shifts
- Let connections have about a 2-hour layover. If your first flight is delayed, you're less likely to miss your second one.
You'll likely still have to deal with a lot of people, no matter when you book your holiday travel plans. But the sooner you do it, it's checked off of your to-do list and you can maybe avoid some of the mess that comes along with traveling around Thanksgiving and Christmas.