Winter travel is a subject that’s pretty near and dear to my heart. Now, there are people out there that wouldn’t travel during the winter months if you paid them. They think that it’s too dangerous, that it’s expensive, and that it’s going to be crowded. For the holiday months, this is definitely the case. However, there are pockets of free time that aren’t dominated by the holidays, which means that you can travel for cheap. People don’t like to go out of their homes when it’s cold, and the travel industry knows that. That’s really why they try to incentivize this type of travel as much as possible. They want you to feel empowered to make this decision, even if other people don’t feel like leaving their warm comfortable homes.
So, how do you make winter travel pleasant? When most travel guides talk about traveling during this time of year, all they do is complain about the weather and the crowds. I think that there’s more to be had here than just those things.
First and foremost, you need to make sure that you plan way ahead. There are sharp weather changes that can cancel flights and make it hard to get to a hotel room. Do you know where all of the hotels are in an area? If one hotel is going to be busy, do you have another hotel that you’re looking at? Will your loyalty points transfer, or will you have to have emergency funds set aside for this?
Same with going to the airport. You want to make sure that you never, ever try to go to the airport at the last minute. For one, you might have to deal with traffic. You even have to deal with security lines. The toughest part of the travel game is that you have to be ready for anything. With winter though, you have to be even more ready. You want to be in the airport in case they start delaying or cancelling flights. It’s not comfortable, but you can at least sleep in the terminal until your next flight. It’s not ideal, but it can work out okay.
You want to make sure that you have a little extra for more food. It’s not anything that I can link to science, but generally speaking, people like to eat a little more in the winter time. That’s something that can be difficult to imagine, but work with us here — if you’re feeling warm and you really want to get warmer, food tends to warm you up. So naturally, you might need a little more food than usual.
Sometimes winter travel is frustrating. It’s a lot of touch and go. Make sure that you still keep your spirits up. Make new friends in the airport. If you get stuck overnight, as least you have plenty of new people to talk to!