By Jenee Gregor
The holiday season beckons some to get out of dodge to go exploring in the world, and for some to visit far off family and friends. Some are just taking a small drive over to family’s houses and some may even been leaving the country. No matter how far students go this season, these things are always good to know.
“I’m 87 and still traveling,” said Julia Ann Thomas, resident of Ypsilanti and traveler to 6 of 7 continents and still going. Going out into the world and seeing how people are the same, make you feel like it is all one world, she said.
Look around to more than one website to gauge the cost of the ticket. Websites like Orbitz, Priceline and Hotwire are all third party websites that search all the airlines, hotel and rental car agencies, and look for the cheapest deals.
The next step passed that are sites like Kayak and Sky Scanner, that are more comprehensive sites that search all of the third-party sites. SkyScanner is more geared toward international flights and Kayak is generally for more domestic in the U.S., they have the ability to do both.
If there is no travel planned, both of those sites allow you to search from U.S. to “Everywhere,” so if there isn’t wanderlust, it will manifest.
Before the Airport
Clean out that old bag that is going to be used for carry on, make sure that nothing sharp is in there that can be a weapon. All of the strange things that could be considered troublesome should be put in checked baggage or left at home.
In a carry-on bag, only approved travel size bottles will make it through security, so planning ahead will make the security process much easier.
With a checked bag, if there is a scale at home, weigh it to make sure that it won’t cost extra money, or the embarrassment of unpacking and jamming heavy items into the carry-on. Most airlines have a weight limit of about 50 lbs., for checked baggage, be prepared.
Make sure that tickets are easily accessible by email, or by an application from the airline or already printed.
Bring proper identification, if flying domestic, bring driver’s license, and if traveling abroad, don’t forget a passport that has at least six months before it expires.
Obtaining a passport takes time, routine processing takes four to five weeks, expedited processing takes two to three weeks and when expedited at an agency takes five business days, according to the U.S. Department of State.
At the Airport
When the bags are packed and the liquid items are all under the restricted sizes, the rest is waiting in line and a breeze.
Unless the flight is delayed, overbooked or worst case, cancelled, in which there is some digging to be done, to remedy.
In some cases, an overbooked flight can mean some free travel to somewhere else when volunteers are asked to give up seats for travel vouchers.
Even a delay can have rewards with a travel voucher. When flights are delayed it is possible to get reimbursed for the flight, which in a lot of cases is a ticket to somewhere else in the world.
“Keep it simple,” said Phil Boos, WCC student, musician and filmmaker. Minimize your plans so there is less stress. Most of all, relax! Things are going to go however they go, that’s the point of travel; experience.