If you're going to be doing any kind of traveling this holiday season, be prepared for traffic, airline delays, and higher prices for airline tickets and gas. Gas prices are up because of increased demand around the world, and there's no sign that the price is going to fall anytime soon. It certainly wont drop before the busy Thanksgiving Day getaway.
Sometimes, no matter how well you prepare, you're going to hit traffic and congestion, especially at these locations.
Air travel is in bad shape as well. I've chronicled the difficulties in the NYC metro area - too many planes, not enough runway and airport capacity. President Bush's proposal to open up military airspace for the holiday rush isn't going to solve the mess one bit.
New airports and new runways might, but those things aren't done overnight. In fact, they usually take years.
The NYC metro area might be able to get Stewart Airport integrated into the airlines flight schedules, but it will take more than that to get millions to choose to fly from there instead of JFK or LaGuardia or Newark Liberty.
There are some things you can do to make the travel season more tolerable, but they're really common sense. No matter how you travel, always check with the weather reports to see if bad weather is going to affect not only where you live, but your ultimate destination and areas along your planned route. If you're traveling by air:
Make sure you have two forms of identification that are an identical match to your ticket documentation.Of course, check with seatguru.com to see which seats are the most comfortable on your flight - not every seat is equal even in coach. If you're tall, you know what I'm talking about.
Pay for tickets with a credit card and carry it with you for confirmation.
Review your baggage and be familiar with the contents.
When possible, pack liquids in checked baggage. Items exceeding 3 ounces are prohibited from carry-on.
Wear footwear that is simple to get on and off. You are required to remove your footwear before you enter the walk-through metal detector.
Arrive at the airport early to avoid the rush, unforeseen parking challenges and security backlogs.
Call your air carrier several hours prior to departure to confirm status, determine any restricted items and learn their security requirements.
If you're traveling by car, make sure you have a spare tire, your tires are all properly inflated to the proper levels, make sure your fluids are all checked out (oil, transmission, brake), carry jumper cables, have a charged cell phone, and always have a first aid kit handy.
Of course, if you're stuck in traffic and have an Internet connection, you can always check to see how the rest of the nation is faring by plane (watch air traffic in real time).
Labels: airlines, holidays, transportation