Don’t let holiday travel plans stress you out


By John North



The holidays are just around the corner. The hustle and bustle of holiday traveling can make your stress level rise. Whether you’re traveling by car, plane or train, Better Business Bureau offers traveling tips to help you stay stress free and safe this year.

According to GasBuddy.com, gas prices are expected to rise this holiday season due to higher demand and lower supply. The average price for a gallon of regular gas in Ohio is $2.81. In Ohio, gas prices are 54 cents higher than this time last year. Nationally, gas prices have gone up 45 cents since last year. In addition, gas prices haven’t been above $3 per gallon since October 2014.

BBB offers these holiday travel tips:

– Make travel plans early and avoid driving at peak travel times, such as traveling two days before or after Christmas or a day before Thanksgiving.

– Use discount travel Web sites. If you plan on renting a car or booking a hotel room, consider bundling them with your airfare to save money.

– Take your car in for a checkup. Be sure to check the fluid levels, tire pressure, wipers, etc.

– Pack light and consider packing an emergency kit for your car. It should include a flashlight, batteries, first-aid kit, food and water.

– Do not wrap your gifts if traveling by air. Consider shipping them in advance or shop online.

– Always pay with a credit card because you can dispute the charges. Never pay with cash.

– Get all arrangements in writing. Verify your reservations with the companies directly before your trip.

– Plan for travel problems. Know alternative routes and flights in case of delays or cancellations.

– Buckle up and don’t text and drive.

– Charge your cell phone before you leave.

– Make sure you have your insurance card in case of an accident.

– Consider travel insurance. It’s designed to reimburse you for unseen circumstances.

– Check the local weather at your destination.

– Leave lots of extra time and get plenty of rest when leaving your home for your destination.

Remember, if you’re one of the millions taking to the skies, make sure you have all necessary documents including plane tickets and identification. Consider checking in online and print your boarding pass at home to avoid airline ticket counters. Also, check with airline about how many bags can be checked or carried on the plane. Check parking rates at the airport, it may be a wise decision to take a taxi, shuttle or have a family member or friend drop you off at the airport.

If you have any questions regarding holiday travel, you can always get help from the BBB. Visit www.bbb.org or call 937-222-5825 or 800-776-5301.

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By John North

Better Business Bureau President/CEO John North is a guest columnist.

Better Business Bureau President/CEO John North is a guest columnist.