1. Don’t wrap your presents.

If the present is flagged going through TSA, security will have to unwrap it in order to check the contents. (While TSA will re-wrap it, we can promise it will not be quite the same.) In the case of fragile, bubble-wrapped items, you should not expect them to stay in one piece.

Instead, pack your wrapping paper to wrap your presents at your destination, mail your presents, or opt for gift bags.

(Also: don’t pack the nerf gun you bought for your nephew in your carry-on.)

2. Connect in warmer climates.

Try to get a non-stop flight. But, if you don’t have a non-stop flight, connect somewhere warmer, like Dallas, instead of connecting in Chicago (the #3 most weather-delayed airport). A winter storm is a sure-fire way to add stress to your holiday travel.

Every time a plane touches down or lifts off there is chance for a delay, but your chance of delay decreases significantly when you are departing from an airport with mild weather. 

3. Allow a travel agent to compare fares for you.

Not only do our agents have the extensive airline knowledge necessary for finding the best deal for the value, but our airline contracts allow us to offer you fares that airlines don’t offer online. Simply put: no matter how long you search to find a great fare on a booking engine, you won’t find what our agents can offer.

Why not save some time and effort over the busy holiday season and let our experienced agents at Cook Travel find you the best fare on international business class trips?

4. Take the first flight out.

When you can, take the first flight out. Gary Leff of View From the Wing says, “Later in the day, anything that’s gone wrong due to mechanics or weather delays stack up and make it harder to make up time, so the likelihood of having a problem later in the day is greater.”

As this usually means getting to the airport earlier, you may avoid some traffic on the way to the airport, as well as lines once you get inside. These elements are especially worth considering when flying over Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the like, because so many people are traveling at once.