BOSTON, MA -- (Marketwire) -- 12/04/12 -- It's that time again -- the holiday season -- when excitement and anticipation are paired with the stress and hassles of traveling to be with family and friends. Airports and airplanes are overflowing with holiday spirit but also with travelers of all kinds headed in every direction. To help keep you sane during this most hectic time of the year, the travel experts at Cheapflights.com, the online leader in finding and publishing travel deals, have outlined their Top 10 Holiday Season Travel Mistakes with useful tips for traveling smarter during this joyful time of year.
Below are five common holiday season travel mistakes travelers make during the planning and booking process -- and tips for how best to avoid them:
•Procrastinating - Reports abound of airfares going up close to $5 per day on average at this point for holiday season travel. So there is no more time to delay booking your flight if you are planning to take to the skies this year. And, don't end the procrastinating there. Last-minute packing, staying at the office to wrap-up just one more thing before dashing to the airport -- or even planning to hop into a cab instead of pre-arranging airport transportation -- increase the odds of making your holiday travels anything but festive. Instead, get a head start on your New Year's resolutions by becoming the advanced planner who isn't derailed by a long line, extra security check or traffic jam.
•Cutting connections too close - Obviously, booking an inexpensive flight is a goal anytime you travel, but, especially around the holidays, pay attention to connection details as well. It's better to have a long layover than to risk rushing through an overcrowded airport for your next flight. If you don't make the connection, it's long odds there will be a seat on the next plane. And, with winter weather in the mix, it's good to pad your connection time even more if your travel involves any locations with the potential for snow and ice. The best holiday gift to give yourself might be a direct flight. Our gift to you is some extra advice: avoid the last flight of the day on a connecting flight if you can so you don't end up sleeping in the airport if something goes awry.
•Traveling with the crowd - As always, flexibility is a core principle for keeping holiday travel cost and hassles to a minimum. The flights closest to Christmas and the weekend between Christmas and New Year's are when the crowds and costs will be at the highest. Try a Thursday to Thursday trip to buck that trend or, better yet, catch a Christmas or New Year's Eve flight for a more affordable and pleasant experience. You may even get a free celebratory drink from the airline. Keep alternative airports in mind as well. A short drive on either end of the trip might help you stash some cash to help pay the January credit card bill.
•Cashing in points - Blackout dates from airlines and people who plan months and months in advance have combined to make sure that there are virtually no seats left in the holiday season for a reasonable number of points. Unless you've been banking points for years and have no bigger plans for them or are a Super Elite flier, this is one of those times when spending cash is a better long-term investment.
•Booking flights and hotels separately - If a hotel stay is in the mix for your Yuletide travel, don't overlook the cost savings of "flights+hotels" search. With prices trending up on both airfares and hotel rooms, you will want to get the best collective deal possible and most online sites offer packaged pricing when you book lodging (or, in some cases, car rental) at the same time as your flight.
Now that you have avoided the common mistakes made in the planning stages, the next five to make the list are travel mistakes that can be avoided on the day of travel: not planning ahead for gifts; overpacking; waiting to check in at the airport; eating on the fly; and not packing a book. To read more details and tips on these travel season mistakes and Cheapflights.com's complete list of Top 10 Holiday Season Travel Mistakes, visit http://news.cheapflights.com/top-10-holiday-season-travel-mistakes.
About momondo group
momondo group is an online travel media and technology company that is driven by the belief that an open world is a better world. The group now serves travel search and inspiration to over 13 million visitors a month -- plus 6 million travel newsletter subscribers -- via its Cheapflights (www.cheapflights.com) and momondo (www.momondo.com) brands.
Skygate began the sourcing of complex air-travel data in 1992, while Cheapflights pioneered the online comparison of flight deals for users in 1996 and momondo launched meta-search in the Nordic countries in 2006.
The Group has offices in London, Copenhagen, Boston and Toronto, with a consumer base across 16 core international markets but users all over the world.
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