21 Oct 9 Tips for the Savvy Holiday Traveler
Thanksgiving and Christmas are supposed to be filled with peace and joy not to mention relaxation and just taking it easy.
But according to a survey from Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, nearly 4 out of 10 Americans find the holiday season more stressful than other times of the year.  In particular, holiday travel can be vexing. AAA reports that nearly 100 million Americans travel during the Christmas holidays. 
Result: crowded roads with traffic slowing to a crawl in many spots. Airplanes with every seat taken. Planes, trains, and buses delayed because of heavy airport and terminal traffic. While you can’t control the volume in the airways and on the road, there are steps you can take to make your holiday trips less stressful and more pleasant.
The first is to sign up online to be a member with Global Travel International (GTI). Click here or call 1-800-250-7912 to have your holiday travels run more smoothly and cost less – before you book this year’s Thanksgiving or Christmas visit with friends and family!
Here are a few more tips for reducing stress and spending less on holiday travel:
Don’t have Christmas at grandma’s house every year. Or your brother’s. Rotate the location. That way family members split both the work of hosting as well as the cost and time of travel. Location rotation works best when the members of your family or group of friends live in the same town, state, or area. On the other hand, if the family all reside in Florida and you live in Alaska, you’re probably going to be the one to travel most if not all holidays.
2—Book your reservations early.
Airline flights and hotels book up fast around the holidays and are often sold out weeks and sometimes months in advance. To be sure of a seat and a room, reserve your airline tickets and rooms early.
In addition to making sure you get the flight and accommodations you want, you’ll also save money by booking early, as the closer to your travel date you buy your plane tickets, the more they are likely to cost.
3—Travel on off-peak days.
Since everybody is on the road the day before Thanksgiving, see if you can take an extra day off from work or school, leave a day earlier, and beat the crowds. If you have to be on the road when everyone else is, do it at off-hours, leaving late at night or before the crack of dawn. Put pillows and blankets in the back seat so the kids can sleep while you drive.
End that yearly holiday stress and sign up online to be a member with Global Travel International (GTI). Click here or call 1-800-250-7912 to have your holiday travels run smoothly and cost less — just in time to eat grandma’s famous pumpkin pie!
4—Save time when gift shopping.
If you’re expected to give gifts to the people you are visiting, get the shopping done earlier. The closer to the holiday you go to the stores, the more crowded they will be, and they are also more likely to be out of the items you want.
Thanks to the Internet, today you can buy almost any gift item without leaving your home or battling with crowds and traffic. Mail order catalogs let you shop from home, too. Still, it makes sense to shop early, as items do go out of stock even on e-commerce sites and in catalogs. And if you wait too long, the item may not reach you in time without expensive rush delivery.
5—All quiet on the home front.
Also plan dog-sitting, house-sitting, lawn watering, mail pick-up, and other home services you may need while away, and do it early. You don’t want to call the kennel at the last minute only to discover that there is no room at the inn for Fido.
6—Split the cooking duties.
The person hosting the Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner should feel okay about asking guests to prepare and bring one dish each. If you’re making the turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes, Aunt Fern can bring a vegetable casserole and your sister can bake a pumpkin pie. Less work for the host means less stress for her, and a more relaxed time for everyone.
7—Have multiple “activity centers.”
For instance, the family room with the widescreen TV becomes sports central for the football fans. The teens and preteens can hang out in the finished basement. Adults preferring conversation can take over the living room. And those who want to help the host or hostess prepare the meal congregate in the kitchen.
8—Accommodate all religious beliefs.
Take everyone who wants to go to the church, synagogue, or mosque. If you are all the same religion or can be flexible, that makes life easier with just one house of worship. Allow family members who are agnostic or just do not go to services to stay home; don’t try to convert them or fight about it. Especially at holiday time, keep the peace.
9—Take a year off.
One year we decided to sit out the holidays and stay home. It was incredibly relaxing and stress-free. We wouldn’t do it every year – we want to see our friends and family – but it was a welcome break from the usual hectic and noisy holiday season.
It’s time to sign up online to be a member with GTI. Click here today!
 http://newsroom.aaa.com/2014/12/aaa-98- 6-million-americans-traveling-holiday-season-four-percent-last-year/