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The Mass Media

Holiday Travel Tips


You survived another semester of college. Here’s your syllabus for winter break: Eat. Sleep. Do absolutely nothing. Repeat.

Though Boston is home, many of us still travel in order to celebrate the holidays with our family.

Toward the end of the semester, many students find themselves in a monumental fudge-up situation where one, they are stressed about finals, two, they need to go gift shopping, which they can’t really do because time to do things is nonexistent! And three, they need to travel many miles to finally be back home.

Finals, which most likely will leave students sleep deprived, are just a day or two before the holidays. To quote Robert Frost, I really do have miles to go before I sleep.

I, like many other students, find myself in this situation every year during the holidays. I live here by myself and my closest family members live in Montréal. After many years of traveling back and forth during the holidays, I have mastered a few tips that I would like to share, in the hopes of alleviating your holiday traveling stress.

Book Early

There are many theories out there about the best time to buy plane tickets. One that I often hear is to book your flight on Tuesday nights because that’s when airlines drop their prices due to competition. I am not sure how accurate this is, but I do know the earlier you book your flight, the cheaper.

I also know if you are more flexible with your travel dates, you might be able to find better deals on flights. For that reason, I would advise to buy your tickets, whether you are flying, taking the bus, or the train, as soon as you possibly can.

In the end, it will be one less thing for you to worry about as the holidays are approaching. I would also advise to travel a few days before and a few days after the holidays. That way, you can avoid long lines and crazy traffic.

Ship Gifts

If you manage to have any funds left after the semester to go gift shopping, congrats! My advice is to have the gifts shipped to the recipients, especially if it’s something you buy online. For those of you who flying, you better have those gifts shipped because TSA won’t hesitate to rip open any “suspicious” gifts you spent all that time wrapping. Safety first!

If you really don’t want to ship the gifts or simply can’t afford it, opt to take them with you, but don’t wrap them.

Check in online

For those of you flying, I would advise to check in online for your flight. For most airlines, you can check in 24 hours before your flight. All you need is your flight number and your last name. It’s an easy process and can be done under two minutes. After you check in online, you will have an electronic boarding pass. If you don’t have any bag to check-in, you can go straight to TSA security and avoid the line to check in for your flight. Use your electronic boarding pass and board the plane!

Take the T

If you live close to Logan, driving to the airport or taking an Uber is a great option. For those of you who live nowhere near Logan and an Uber ride would cost as much as the plane ticket, my advise is to get to closest T station and hop on the T.

If you are the one driving yourself to the airport, I would advise to park at the T station. Most T stations allow for overnight parking and cost anywhere between five to seven dollars a day. Don’t drive and park at Logan! Last time I checked, it cost $35 a day. Unless, of course you have that kind of money.

Enjoy yourself

After all, the holidays are intended for celebration with your family and friends. Take advantage and enjoy yourself! You survived another semester of college; we both know you sure as hell deserve some wonderful time off.

Eat. Sleep. Do absolutely nothing. Repeat.

Happy Holidays!