Three Ways to Travel Smarter This Holiday Season

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(BPT) - For many of us, this holiday season means celebrating with family and friends and making new, lasting memories. Some of us might even be planning to travel to be with family and friends across the country, while staying cognizant of CDC travel guidelines and restrictions. Before you book your travel home, make sure you’re doing your research so that you can fly comfortably, efficiently and cost-effectively. Read on for a few tips on how to fly like a pro this holiday season.

Planning ahead is key

Especially with today’s uncertainties, it’s never been more important to plan your trips in advance. Whether it’s securing a big enough rental car to travel with the whole family or tracking down a hotel that’s around the corner from your childhood home, planning in advance can ensure you score the best possible options while quelling your travel anxieties.

In addition to getting your dates and flights booked early, consider using a travel credit card — or even evaluating new credit card options — to make the planning process easier and maximize your travel rewards opportunities. For example, new Southwest Airlines® Rapid Rewards® Plus, Premier, and Priority Cardmembers can earn up to 100,000 Rapid Rewards points after qualifying purchases, through Dec. 7, 2021, which is truly the ultimate way to plan ahead and make sure you have plenty of points for all your future travels! They’ll earn 50,000 Rapid Rewards points after spending $2,000 in the first three months of account opening, and an additional 50,000 points after spending $12,000 in the first twelve months from account opening. Even better is that Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority and Premier Cardmembers can earn three points per dollar spent on Southwest purchases, so you can earn points on your flights back home and use them for the next time you want to see your family.

Prepare for takeoff

If your holiday trip involves air travel, look into the most up-to-date policies and procedures at your local airport. Plan to arrive at least an hour and a half early for domestic flights and ensure you’re fully aware of the mask requirements in the airport and on the plane so you don’t run into any surprises. Many airlines have updated their flight policies to provide more flexibility in the event you need to reschedule your flight. For example, Southwest Rapid Rewards Cardmembers never pay for change or cancel fees, though fare differences may apply, and earn Rapid Rewards points that don’t expire, so you can book your flights with the flexibility you need.

Also, make sure you know about any special boarding privileges that could make your flight experience more comfortable. Some credit cards, like the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus and Premier Cards, provide two EarlyBird Check-In® credits per year that improve your seat selection options and make your boarding process more seamless.

Prioritize comfort

Whether you’re preparing to board an hour-long commuter flight or headed coast to coast, the more comfortable you are, the better your experience! Make sure to come prepared with your favorite playlist, an engaging read, or maybe your laptop or tablet to pass the time more quickly with inflight entertainment options and make your flight just as enjoyable as the rest of your trip! If you have a travel credit card, you might even be able to sweeten the deal with inflight perks, such as receiving 25% back on inflight Southwest Airlines purchases, like $8 WiFi, when using a Southwest Rapid Rewards Credit Card.

Especially after last year, when many of us were separated from our families across the country, it’s exciting to plan for holiday reunions this season. By incorporating these travel tips, you can fly with confidence and comfort, and stay focused on what really counts — spending time with your loved ones!

Accounts subject to credit approval. Restrictions and limitations apply. Offer subject to change. Cards are issued by JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. Member FDIC.

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