Whether you’re visiting loved ones across the country, or treating the family to an end-of-year getaway, if you’re travelling in December, be prepared to deal with some crowds. While everyone wants to start their trip off on the right foot, busy airports and overcrowded car parks can cause even the most relaxed person to feel a little stressed. If you’re planning to join the hordes of travellers jetting off this Christmas season, follow these tips to arrive at your destination with your seasonal cheer still intact.
Check-in ahead of time
Nobody likes waiting in long lines, so if there’s an option to skip the queue, take advantage of it. All airlines offer digital check-in which usually opens 24 to 48 hours before your flight and can usually be completed with just a few simple clicks. Sure, you’ll still have to queue up to drop your bags, but the bag-drop line usually moves faster and you’ll save the time you would have spent going through the check-in process at the desk.
Budget extra time
Waiting in line can be boring, but if you’re in holiday mode, it’s no big deal. Unless of course, you’re pressed for time and you’re spending the entire wait wondering if you’re going to miss your flight. According to Sydney Airport, December 18 and 19, and January 2 and 3 will be the busiest days at the airport this year, while the NRMA says the busiest days on the roads will be December 18, 23 and 27 and January 4. If you’re travelling on these days (or really during most of December and January), make sure you factor in extra time for traffic jams and long lines.
If you’re planning on spending Christmas day away from home, you might need to be a little strategic about gift-giving. Packing your suitcase full of Christmas gifts can be a risky decision, as you may struggle to find room for your travel essentials (and let’s face it, nobody wants to be paying extortionate oversized baggage fees). You also risk suffering breakages or damage to gifts in transit. Consider buying gifts at your destination, exchanging gifts before or after you head off, or opting for travel-friendly gifts like gift vouchers or experience gifts that can be redeemed during your trip.
While most people only think about travel insurance when they’re heading overseas, it’s definitely worth considering getting coverage for domestic trips too, especially during the silly season when prices are high and travel providers are at capacity. Nobody wants to have something go wrong during their Christmas trip, but making sure you’re financially covered for any losses will at least take the sting out of it.
Bring a book
If you’re usually go-go-go all year long, it can be hard to get into holiday mode. Although it’s totally possible to read on your handheld devices, switching to a hard-copy book can prevent the temptation to check your apps and encourage you to slow down a little bit. Of course, having a good book on hand also helps turn an otherwise frustratingly long wait or boring flight into an opportunity to relax.
It probably goes without saying but everything is busier at Christmas time. From car parks to hotels and dinner reservations, anything travel-related is likely to book out fast for the months of December and January. If you’re planning to travel over Christmas, the time to book is now! If you’re heading to Sydney Airport, book your airport parking ahead of time at Park on King and avoid the frantic search for a car parking space on the day. Park on King offers affordable, convenient parking, with a free, on-demand shuttle to your terminal. Book now to secure your place for this Christmas season.