The holiday season is already upon us. Is it just us, or did this year go by really fast? The winter holidays are an incredibly popular time for travel. A lot of people are of course headed to see family, but others are looking forward to hitting the slopes or escaping the cold to hit tropical beaches. Everyone has their reasons and destinations, but with children out of school and most companies already giving at least a couple days off, this is a great time to take a decent vacation without having to use a lot of vacation days. 

There are a few drawbacks to holiday travel. Rates go up on nearly everything from airfare to hotels. Roads, airports, resorts, and popular destinations are usually quite crowded. These challenges may be holding some of your potential clients back from making the leap. Here are a few tips you can offer them to help them feel more excited to book a trip with you. Be sure to emphasize how you can help ease many of these stresses. 

  • Be ready. Hiccups are almost inevitable with holiday travel. Psychologically preparing yourself for some sort of mishap will make it much easier to roll with. We are not exactly suggesting pessimism, but rather acceptance. If you acknowledge this is a busy and hectic season and feel ready to roll with the punches, you are less likely to get all stressed out if it happens. This is a great time to remind your clients they can count on you to fix their problems. 
  • Be prepared. A lot of stress can be avoided by being properly prepared. Make lists of all the things that need to be accomplished before traveling, and work on marking things off each day. Ensure gifts are bought and shipped well ahead of time. Make arrangements for house or pet sitters. The night before leaving put a morning checklist in a place you are sure to see it. Nothing like getting five miles down the road only to realize you forgot your passport or trying to check your flight status only to discover you forgot to charge your phone. Be sure the phone is charged and that you have all the travel apps you need installed and ready to go. Put the charger in an easily accessible location. Print your boarding pass before you leave. Have all you need for an overnight in your carry-on in case you get stuck. If you are traveling with children, be sure you have tablets charged, favorite toys, books, and art supplies. No one likes hassles and delays, but you can minimize the suffering by being prepared. 
  • Be early. Bad traffic, bad weather, and long lines are all likely during holiday travel. One of the easiest ways to avoid stress is to give yourself plenty of time. If you luck out and avoid all three, you have a little time at the airport to read a book or have a drink. 
  • Be flexible. Sometimes it is not possible, but avoiding heavy travel days will help with both costs and traffic. If you are willing to travel on Christmas Day, you can often save a lot of money and have whole chunks of the airport to yourself. Traveling early in the morning or late at night will also help. 
  • Be smart. There are a lot of ways to save time and money on holiday travel. Of course, as an independent agent, you know that, but your clients may not. Show off your knowledge and let them know you can help them find package deals for the holidays, check alternate airports for better deals or shorter lines, and help them get awesome sightseeing passes that will save money, as well as time in lines. With a substantially higher chance of weather delays and cancellations, direct flights are often worth the extra cost. When they are not possible, longer layovers are a good way to ease the stress of delays. Taking a Lyft or Uber to the airport is an easy way to save time since parking garages and lots are regularly overflowing during the holidays. 

Share the tips in a way that really highlights how you can be of assistance to others in planning their travel. People are extra busy right now, so showing them how you can save them time and hassle is invaluable. Showing off what you know and can offer regarding some of the hottest holiday travel destinations is also enticing. Here are ten popular holiday destinations for a variety of different tastes.

  1. Puerto Rico. Sun, sand, culture, warmth, and no passport.
  2. Panama. Gorgeous weather, beaches, and really inexpensive
  3. New York, New York. Incredibly festive and fun for those who like cold.
  4. Park City, Utah. Several really fantastic ski resorts as well as Sundance.
  5. Cartagena, Colombia. December begins summer in this beautiful beach town with gorgeous architecture.
  6. Chiang Mai, Thailand. Beautiful weather and scenery and also incredibly inexpensive.
  7. Breckenridge, Colorado. Really nice skiing along with a charming town and even hot springs close by. 
  8. Tromso, Norway. For those who really like cold. Picturesque winter far in the arctic circle with a good chance of seeing the northern lights. 
  9. Rome, Italy. See Rome with fewer tourists and less heat. 
  10. Tulum, Mexico. Warm, beaches, ancient temples, and fabulous people. 

Entice people with fantastic escapes and family time then seal the deal by sharing all the ways you can help them save money and avoid the hassle. Happy Holidays!