6 Tips for Navigating Holiday Travel Well

Top Tier Travel Group owner Kristal Hicks shares her top tips for navigating the busy holiday travel season with ease.

By Ren Bishop

Oct 12 2023 at 11 a.m.

Top Tier Travel shares 6 tips.
Photo courtesy Top Tier TravelNavigate the holiday season with ease with these helpful tips from Top Tier Travel.

‘Tis the season to be panicked at an airport. With record numbers of holiday travelers in 2022, travel experts are expecting even bigger numbers for 2023 – and potentially, bigger delays.

Top Tier Travel Group owner Kristal Hicks shares her top tips for navigating holiday travel well, no matter your destination.


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Arrive at the airport three hours early.

Now boarding: best practices in travel change when gifts are stuffed in carry-ons (the only place they should be). Instead of a traditional two hour arrival prior to boarding, Hicks recommends three hours at major airports – and Springfield, too, she says. “There could be delays, long lines, mechanical issues with the plane, even early departures; so many last-minute issues at the airport aren’t so last-minute any more. Bumping that arrival up an hour could save you a lot of headaches and frustration.”

Have travel insurance.

With flight delays and unexpected trip cancellations, airlines aren’t as accommodating as they once were to personal emergencies. Protect your investment in airline tickets with travel insurance that covers the entirety of your trip. “With winter weather and holiday travel, as well as short-staffed airlines, cancellations are more and more frequent, and there is no recourse. Have travel insurance to be reimbursed for those additional expenses.”

Pack snacks and a water bottle.

With the cost of holiday travel increasingly on the rise, packing snacks can both make a more pleasant experience at the airport and save an extra swipe near the gate. “An empty water bottle is always my go-to packing advice, because you’ll always want it on the plane and before boarding. Plus, snacks aren’t guaranteed in flight, so having your own can help make a long travel day fly by.”

Have an app-free plan from the airport

Uber, Lyft and other rideshare options are common in America, but many destinations don’t allow airport transfers via the popular apps. A service provided by Top Tier Travel Group is pre-planned transportation, no matter the budget of the traveler. “Even if there is Uber at the terminal, there could be long lines or crowded pick-up spaces. A private driver may the best, and often most affordable, option.”

Use Apple Airtags to track your luggage

Don’t hope, know if your luggage is with you when you’re on the plane. Apple Airtags or similar tracking devices, connected to a smartphone, can ensure peace of mind or at least information of where checked bags land. “Staffing shortages at airports exist all over the world, so Airtags can be a helpful resource to know where your bags are. Plus, it can give you peace of mind on a long flight to know your bags made it safely aboard.”

Pack your Patience

With staffing shortages, long lines, security check-points and an endless stream of delays, there can be so many pain points when traveling during the holidays. But Top Tier Travel Group requests one thing of its clients: pack your patience. “Give grace to people at the counter, at security or with unexpected changes at your hotel. These workers often are just trying their best, working on days when we get to celebrate. Take it one step and one destination at a time.”

About Top Tier Travel Group


Top Tier Travel Group is the Ozarks’ leisure, luxury and group travel experts, who bring a personal touch to every clients’ experience. From the Great Wall of China to a new favorite all-inclusive resort, Top Tier Travel Group specializes in high-end experiences for travelers who wonder and wander. Corporate incentive trips, bucket list destinations and luxury escapes – our specialty. Follow along on Instagram: @toptiertravelgroup

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