Just like in previous years, the final week before Christmas 2015 is set to be one of the busiest travel periods of the festive season.
Last year, Abta – The Travel Association estimated that almost four million Britons would be heading abroad during the weeks over Christmas and into the new year. While lots of holidaymakers flocked to winter sun hotspots and city break destinations like the Canary Islands, Morocco, Paris and Amsterdam, many people took trips within the UK to visit friends and family.
There is certainly something romantic and exciting about travelling – either overseas or within the UK – just before Christmas, but the fun can soon be extinguished if you find yourself battling crowds, stuck in traffic or facing delays.
One of the best things you can do to reduce the risk of anything going awry with your trip is to make careful plans in advance. Leaving important arrangements to the last minute can be the perfect recipe for travel disruption and stress.
If you are driving somewhere, research the best route and keep up to date with travel news and information on roadworks, accidents and anything else that could hinder your journey.
Parents facing a long trip with the kids might want to plan some in-car entertainment and bring along a packed lunch to avoid costly stops at service stations.
It could also be worth considering driving late in the evening or overnight to avoid busy roads and to allow children (and grown-ups) to sleep some of the way.
If you are flying somewhere, keep an eye on weather forecasts and any other factors that could have an impact on your trip. If there is any chance of your flight being cancelled or delayed, ask your airline for updates and don't travel to the airport if there is no chance of your flight departing that day.
Christmas can be an expensive time to travel, so it is worth researching different operators to see if you can reduce the cost of your journey. One particularly wise move is to look into travelling on off-peak services, which can be much cheaper than travelling during peak times.
Check that your luggage meets your airline's size and weight requirements to avoid any additional charges at the airport, and take your own food and drink onto the plane rather than purchasing the overpriced items sold onboard. Pre-booking extra services like airport parking can also help you save money.
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