It might be hard to believe, but the holiday season is almost upon us. Families everywhere are stocking up on turkey, potatoes, yams, cranberry sauce, stuffing (or is it dressing?) and all of the other familiar fixings that we have grown accustomed to at our Thanksgiving meals. Gathering around the table with loved ones at the holidays is a treat that many look forward to all year long. For many folks, this means some sort of air travel is involved. Indeed, the week of Thanksgiving does contain some of the busiest travel days of the entire year – but this travel doesn’t have to be stressful! With just a little bit of planning, patience, and a positive attitude, your Thanksgiving travels can get off without a hitch. Here are five simple tips to take your stress levels down five BIG notches!
- Online check-in services. Take advantage of online check-in services offered by most airlines and print your boarding pass from the comfort of home or your office the day before your flight. This saves time and puts you one step ahead before you even arrive at the airport. Speaking of arriving at the airport…
- Arrive EARLY. Arrive early, even if you do the online check-in option the day before. The airport terminal opens up at 4:00 am, with the ticket counters and security checkpoint area opening up around 4:15 am. Plan on everything taking a little bit longer than you would normally expect. Allow extra time for parking. Allow extra time for longer lines at the ticketing counters. Allow for extra time at the security checkpoint. At CHO Airport, we recommend arriving at least two hours prior to your flight’s scheduled departure to give yourself plenty of time and help cut down on the stress factor. Shuttle service is available at CHO Airport to transport you from the parking lots to the terminal and vice versa. To make a long story short, there’s no such thing as arriving too early. Doesn’t having a little extra time on your hands after the security checkpoint sound better than scrambling and rushing just to make sure you make your flight?
- Make sure your baggage is in order. Know what’s allowed and what isn’t allowed in your carry-on baggage and make sure the size of your carry-on is acceptable, according to the guidelines provided by your airline. If you’re unsure of what can and can’t go in your carry-on bag, be sure to check TSA’s “Can I Bring My…” website, or better yet, download their app to your smartphone, which will tell you exactly which items are and aren’t allowed. If checking any bags, know the weight beforehand, so you aren’t hit with any surprise charges or fees on your big travel day. To further ease stress with your baggage, pack as light as you can. Avoid bringing any items that aren’t completely necessary.
- Take a deep breath. You’ve gotten through security, so you’re in the homestretch! Now is a good time to take a deep breath and relax before boarding your plane. Grab a bite at our new restaurant, the Turbo Grill. If the weather is nice, check out the views on our observation deck. It’s also a good time to check the status of your flight, because as we all know, everything doesn’t always go according to plan. Which brings us to tip number five…
- Expect the unexpected! Sometimes things happen that are completely out of your control. Flights may be delayed or canceled due to weather. Inclement weather in another part of the country can have a ripple effect on flight schedules, so it pays to check up on this in advance. In the event of delays or cancelations, keep in communication with your airline and keep a level head. Nobody likes to be stuck at the airport, but a positive attitude can go a long way in making sure you arrive at your destination safe and sound!
As mentioned before, with a little bit of planning, patience, and positivity, there’s no reason for anything but smooth travels. Besides, just remember that you’ll be sitting around the dinner table with your family (and that delicious turkey) before you know it! Safe travels and happy Thanksgiving from CHO Airport!