Are you thinking of flying home for Christmas? Maybe you are planning to head out to a warm-weather destination for the holidays? You know, Mombasa, Lamu, Malindi and all those beautiful white sandy beach places like Diani are very popular destinations for people who want to sit back and let the ocean waves wash away the year that has been and bring in good tidings for the year that is to be.
These are all wonderful plans and if it’s at all possible, you should strive to be with your loved ones during this period. So, how can you get home or to your preferred holiday destination without feeling like your world is crashing down around you thanks to those missed flights?
Ironically enough, the best time to travel for the holidays is during the holidays themselves. Statistically speaking, Christmas day (25 Dec) and New Year’s Day (1 Jan) are the days when there are the fewest travellers both on the roads and in the air.
You can see why that would be the case considering the fact that almost everyone will already be settled down with family or at their destination of choice. However, we all know that life doesn’t exactly deal in ideals and sometimes you might not already be home for the holidays. So, if you are still stuck and need to get home, which are the best days for Christmas travel?
Apart from Christmas day itself, the next best day for Christmas travel is Christmas Eve. This is when you can get better deals on your airfare because most people will have already made it home.
This might sound counter-intuitive considering the fact that most people already want to be where they intended to go by the time Christmas Day rolls around. However, if you think about it critically, it really isn’t that bad of an idea to travel on Christmas Day itself.
This is especially true if you are taking a domestic flight that will last you less than an hour or a couple of hours at the most. Here are some tips on how you can go about travelling on Christmas Day itself without feeling like you have missed out on the holiday:
- Book the earliest flight you can get: Booking an early morning flight is the best way to get around feeling like you have wasted your Christmas Day celebrations on travel. Think about it: since Christmas Eve is the next best thing when it comes to hassle-free holiday travel, there is a good chance that you will find flights that are available early in the day on the 25th. By booking the earliest flight possible on the 25th, you achieve two crucial things: you get an available flight on the day itself at a reasonable price and two, you get to your destination well before the real festivities get underway. Taking a 5 am flight to a destination that is only an hour away will have you landing at around 6 am with plenty of day still left.
- Book the best seats: Since Christmas Day is the best day to travel during the holidays, you can play around with the kind of booking you want. Not very many travellers will be clamming for any seats on your flight so you can bump yourself up to business class at a discounted rate. Why not give yourself a treat and fly in class for Christmas?
- Be pleasant to everyone: It’s Christmas, the airport staff and flight crew will all probably be in the mood for a celebration but can’t since they are stuck at work. The best way to make their day is to be cordial, jovial even and smile at everyone. Who knows, you might just bag yourself a few extra treats on the flight.
Pro Tip: You are advised to avoid travelling the weekend prior to Christmas since that is when everyone will be trying to get to their destinations as soon as possible. This means that not only will flights not be available but the ones that will be available will come to you at exorbitant prices thanks to the high influx of passengers.
Oddly enough, the 28th is also a good day to travel because it essentially falls on a day that can be considered “no man’s land”. It’s not exactly close enough to Christmas to help you salvage that holiday and it isn’t exactly on New Year’s Eve for people to want to be rushing about to reach their next destination. It’s just perfectly placed between those days to be forgotten.
As a result, travelling on this day is often a bit more ideal than any other day. This is when you want to try and get to your New Year’s destination if you are not spending it at the same place as your Christmas holidays.
As is the case with Christmas Day, New Year’s Day is just as light on travelling and for the same reasons. People are already where they want to be for New Year’s or at the very least don’t want to be travelling on this day. As a result, prices are much lower, airports less busy and flights more available. You can use the same tricks you use when travelling on Christmas Day and book the earliest morning flight you can find so that you arrive at your destination with much of the day still available for your enjoyment.
Yes, travelling on the day of the holiday itself is never really ideal but it’s one of the best ways to avoid the heavy traffic and rowdy crowds that come with holiday travel. Ideally, you should be booking your flights well in advance of these days to avoid the rush and to get great deals on the flights. Use Travelstart to find the best available flights and prices is a move that can save you a great deal of money, time and frustration.