How to be a 5-star traveler this holiday season | Lifestyles

How to be a 5-star traveler this holiday season

FILE – A traveler walks in Terminal 3 as a sign stating face coverings are required is displayed at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, Friday, July 2, 2021. If you skipped holiday travel last year (or haven’t traveled much at all since the start of the pandemic), your travel skills might have gotten a little rusty. Plus, a lot about travel etiquette has changed. When you combine that with a challenging travel world filled with canceled flights and rescheduled itineraries, it can be a lot to handle.

If you skipped holiday travel last year (or haven’t traveled at all during the pandemic), your travel skills might be rusty. Plus, some travel etiquette has changed.

Recent history indicates that this holiday travel season will be challenging, as evidenced by chaos seen over this year’s holiday and summer weekends. More than 2,800 Spirit Airlines flights were canceled during a busy travel weekend this summer. Over separate October weekends, American Airlines canceled hundreds of flights, and Southwest canceled more than 1,800. All those events were attributed in part to staffing shortages.

While you might feel understandably surly over a situation that causes you to miss a trip or forces you to pay for a last-minute hotel, sour attitudes probably won’t fix things.

Being courteous might get you the preferred room, the last available seat or a complimentary upgrade. Plus, being proactive could make travel more efficient for not just you, but everyone else. Here are five tips to help you be a five-star traveler this holiday season.


You’ve heard the incessant announcements at the boarding gate, pleading with people to check their roller bags on full flights.

The earlier you check your bag, the earlier it’s loaded. If the last person to board is the one whose bag gets pried from their hands and sent to cargo, it’s more likely that takeoff will be delayed than had all bags been loaded earlier. Thankfully, many airline credit cards offer free checked bags, and it’s also a perk often offered to airline elite status members. So you might want to think about checking your bag at the counter before you even get through security. Or, if you know you’ll be last to board anyway, gate-check it early.

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