We wish you a memorable and safe vacation with these travel tips this holiday season.
We may be nearing the end of the year, but the busiest travel time is just ahead of us. Whether you are planning a special getaway for New Year’s Eve, visiting distant family for Christmas or Thanksgiving, or just trying to use up your vacation time for the year, you’ll be joining millions of people from LAX to JFK as they take to the roads, rails, and skies.
However, that also means the most stressful travel time is ahead of us, with difficulties booking everything from a flight to a car rental. Holiday traveling is always stressful, and it will probably be an even bigger mess in a year that’s been plagued with flight delays and other disasters. Here are some tips to make your trip as easy as possible, including how to get a Los Angeles car rental.
Book Domestic Flights 21 Days in Advance
Flying domestic is always a more relaxed affair than flying internationally. You only have to show up at the airport two hours in advance, flights are cheaper, and you don’t even have to bring your passport if you have an enhanced driver’s license (Real ID).
However, you shouldn’t be as relaxed when it comes to booking your flights. Domestic flights around the holidays fill up fast, and you don’t want to spend Thanksgiving without your family due to poor planning.
Even if you had luck with last-minute flights before, expect it to be harder this year. Many people didn’t travel home for the holidays for the past two years due to the pandemic and will now be trying to reconnect with distant loved ones, while others are choosing to travel after not being able to for a while. Give yourself enough time to plan everything.
Track Prices on Google Flights
You should book your flights 21 days in advance but start looking for them earlier. Flight prices fluctuate, and you want to take advantage of lower prices if possible. Luckily, services such as Google Flights let you easily track the price for your destination across different airlines. You can even set up an alert so you get notified if prices dip below a certain range.
With inflation and the rising cost of fuel, airplane tickets have also been getting more expensive. It pays to go to a little extra effort to try to save money.
Reserve a Car as Early as You Can
Besides reserving your flights in advance, you should reserve your rental car in advance as well. Especially if you are flying into a busy airport such as LAX, it’s very likely that other travelers will reserve all the cars in the rental lot ahead of time or snatch up the few cars available last minute. You don’t want to get stranded with no way of getting to your destination!
Reserving a car ahead of time also gives you more time to comparison shop. The price of car rentals is also creeping up along with the price of everything else. Check with different companies to see if you can get better deals, which you can’t do if you’re racing to the rental car counter to find the last available car.
If You’re Under 25, Check Car Rental Prices on Hopper
For a Los Angeles car rental, or in any city, really, prices are higher if you’re under 25. Car rental companies consider you a “young driver” and perceive you as more dangerous to rent to because you are less experienced and more likely to be reckless (These are all stereotypes, but they are stereotypes backed up by statistics.). To cover themselves in case of damage to their vehicles, many rental companies charge an extra fee for younger drivers. You may think It isn’t fair, but it is the way of the world, unfortunately.
You can minimize the impact these fees have on your wallet by checking car rental prices on Hopper. Hopper is an app that tracks different travel companies, including car rental companies, in one place. That way, you can compare which companies charge lower fees for under-25 drivers.
Check Accumulated Points on Your Credit Cards
Another way to save money while traveling is to look at your credit cards. See if you’ve accumulated enough points over the year to put some towards your holiday travel expenses—it’s essentially free money. If you don’t already have a credit card that allows you to collect points, especially travel rewards, a good holiday present to yourself might be to get one.
Buy Travel Insurance
Even if you’ve never bought travel insurance before, this is a good year to start. Plenty of things can go wrong when traveling, especially during busy times. Flights get delayed, you miss connecting flights, or you get stranded somewhere during a snowstorm. Insurance can cover unexpected expenses such as the cost of booking a hotel overnight or rebooking your flights. It’s worth paying a little out of pocket, so you have that cushion in case everything goes wrong.
This summer was tough on people traveling with suitcases as lost luggage was a problem around the world. Fully booked airports and short-staffed baggage handlers made for a chaotic combination. Expect lost luggage to be a problem for travel for the rest of the year. If you can, pack light and fit all of your stuff into a carry-on. That way, you won’t have to waste time at busy baggage claim, and you know all your stuff will make it with you.
…But Pack Extra Essentials
You don’t want to spend Christmas wearing three-day-old underwear. Assume that delays and lost luggage will happen, so pack extra essentials such as underwear, socks, toiletries, and warm clothing layers. That way, even if your luggage gets lost or your layover winds up being longer than expected, you can still be as comfortable as possible.
2022 has been an extremely busy travel year, and the holiday season will be even busier. Make the most of the situation with these travel tips and consider our services as one of the best car rental companies in Los Angeles!