9 Travel Hacks That You Need to Know for the Holiday Season

Travelling over the holiday season? Check out these nine travel hacks – tips, tricks and tools for saving major moola and ensuring that your holiday travels are smooth sailing.

9 travel hacks to make travel easier during the holiday season

1) Save Major $ By Buying Your Flight at the Right Time.

Ever wished that you had a crystal ball to tell you when to purchase your flight? KAYAK’s search tool is the closest thing. It lets you search hundreds of travel sites at once to find the right flight, hotel, rental car or vacation package whether it’s for a specific date, weekend or the whole month.

I highly recommend using the whole month to find the best deals. As you can see from my search below, you can save over $400 by flying on December 16th or 18th instead of December 17th. travel hack: knowing when to buy your flight can save you lots of money. Kayak's Forecast tool makes it easy. Furthermore, if you’ve ever wondered whether or not now is the best time to buy, you’ll love KAYAK’s Forecast tool. It uses historical data to give you advice on whether the price is likely to increase or decrease within seven days. In the example above, I should purchase my flight to Calgary now. Otherwise, I risk having to pay more for my flight.

2) Be Aware of the 24-Hour Rule.

travel hacks when travelling over the holiday season

Ever bought a flight then found a better deal? Don’t you hate it when that happens? That’s why you need to be aware of the 24-hour rule. Most airlines, including Air Canada, will provide a full refund if you cancel your flight within 24 hours of purchase.

3) Buy Shared Experiences Instead of Presents.

instead of gifts buy shared experiences. Spending time together is the best gift you can give someone.This travel hack takes the worry about how to carry presents when flying.
Me hiking in Greece with my friend Audrey

Trying to travel with presents is stressful. You don’t have enough space; you’re worried something might break. The list goes on. Instead, of buying a present, buy something that you can do together.

For example, if your favourite aunt is a foodie, treat her to lunch at the new bistro that just opened. You’ll be giving her the gift of time with you and sharing something that she loves.

Instead of presents consider buying experiences for a loved one that you can share together.
Shared experiences with a loved one make a wonderful gift.

Another option is to pool your funds for a trip for your loved one. Some family members and I did this for my mom. We all chipped in for a flight to Annapolis, Maryland where I was living at the time. My mom got to visit me and explore a new place at the same time. She still raves about the experience and says it’s one of the best gifts that she’s ever received.

4) Be Open to Exploring New Destinations.

be open to exploring new destinations and you can find some great deals on KAYAK, another travel hack
I love KAYAK’s Explore Feature.

Check out KAYAK’s Explore Feature for this. I love it! You choose when you want to travel, enter your budget and it shows you a list of all the amazing places you can fly to within that price range. When I did this, in the example below, Santa Ana came up. It wasn’t a destination that I’d previously considered, but now I’m intrigued. And I love the price. It also allows you to explore The Explore Feature also allows you to explore by interest. For example, you can choose from Underwater Worlds, Hiking Hotspots, Wine Regions and more. This is a great way to find new destinations that you’ll love.

5) Make Your Holiday Vacation Start on Your Flight.

Instead of dreading your flight use the time on your flight to rejuvenate.This travel hack means that'll arrive feeling fresh and can make the most of your vacation time.
Use the time on your flight to start your holiday vacation.

Many travellers don’t look forward to flying, but it can be a pleasant experience with the right mindset. Instead of dreading a long flight, think of ways you can pamper yourself.

Is there a book that you’ve wanted to read but never seem to have time? How about listening to your favourite holiday playlist on Spotify?  Or buying Swiss chocolate at the airport that you savour during your flight. You’ll not only enjoy your flight more; you’ll arrive feeling relaxed.

6) Travel with Peppermint Oil.

Travel hack: carry peppermint oil to freshen breathe, ease nausea, and to help relax.
Peppermint oil has numerous feel-good uses and is helpful on flights.

Peppermint can help soothe any in-flight nausea, freshen breath, and relieve sinus congestion. I love taking a few drops on a tissue then inhaling it. I feel so much more relaxed afterwards. A small bottle packs a big punch. It’s one of my must-haves when travelling.

7) Travel Only with Carryon.

Never worry about lost luggage again when you travel only with carry on luggage. This is one of my favourite travel hacks that I use 90% of the time that I travel.

Not only will it save you a ton of time packing, but it reduces having to wait around for your luggage, and you’ll never have to worry about the airline losing your luggage. Besides, with the shared experiences that you’re giving, you won’t have presents to carry.

8) How to Pack Only Carryon.

To get the most space,  I recommend rolling like items together, i.e. shirts, then putting them in a packing cube. I also carry a packing cube for dirty clothes.

You’ll want to choose versatile items that you can wear for numerous occasions. One of my favourites is a black lace top. It looks equally good with jeans as it does with a dressy skirt. I just add a long necklace and red lipstick, and I’m good to go.

The other trick is to reduce the number of shoes that you bring since these take up a ton of space. I usually wear a pair that has a small heel, and that look equally good with jeans or a dress – versatility and runners for when I want to be more active. That’s usually enough.

9) If you’re travelling to a new destination, research how to get from the airport to your hotel before you leave home.

Hiking has also given me a sense of purpose when living abroad.
Research where you’re going before leaving home.

You want to have that holiday feeling when you arrive. Nothing will zap it quicker than figuring out how to get to your hotel from the airport and which taxis you should avoid.

That’s why I always research this before I leave. Most airport websites will have a section explaining the different options and how long they take. That way you can decide whether it’s worth it to splurge on a cab or save money by taking the train which can be just as quick.

These are my top travel hacks for the holiday season.

Share with someone you know who is travelling during the holidays.  Also, check that you’re not making these Travel Mistakes.

9 travel hacks to make travel easier during the holiday season

This post was brought to you in partnership with KAYAK. 

Enjoyed this content? Please share:

About Author

client-photo-1
Laurel
Laurel Robbins is the founder of Monkeys and Mountains Adventure Travel. She's passionate about getting outdoors as often as possible and helping travellers do the same on their vacation in a sustainable way. She's Canadian and grew up in the Canadian Rockies but now lives in Munich, Germany. You can find her skiing or hiking in the mountains most weekends, hanging out with her cat or with her nose in a good book.

Comments

Henry Riley | Live The Venture
October 16, 2017
This is some interesting information. Traveling around the holidays can be super stressful so being prepared can really help you. Also everything on Kayak is great! Thanks for sharing!
October 17, 2017
@Henry - Agreed, and it can be so expensive. That's why I love searching for flights on KAYAK, just changing your dates by a couple of days can result in huge savings.
October 27, 2017
Some really great tips here. I've actually never heard recommend peppermint oil before, so I should give that a shot. :-) By the way
March 22, 2018
Great post! I really like the one on peppermint oil. :)
March 30, 2018
@Shruti - Thank you. I love peppermint oil. I use it almost daily, even when I'm not travelling :)
May 25, 2019
Hi Laurel, I appreciate your knowledge. these hacks are out of the world. I never think that this type of travel hacks even exist. Today I really learn something new about travelling your opinions really help me in my journey from America to Thailand. Thank you
June 10, 2019
Really nice story about traveling !

Leave a Reply