Experts chime in with five tips for holiday travel

With flight delays, cancelations, longer TSA lines and overbooked flights, holiday travel can be chaotic.

While preparing for the holidays and booking flights, there are a few things you can do to make your trip a little less hectic. Here are five tips from travel experts to help you get the most out of your holiday travels.

Check airline schedules

Airlines have started to reduce their schedules for this holiday season as the travel industry has begun to reach a breaking point. During the summer many airline pilots went on strike over their flight schedules, which often leave little time for a break between flights.

If you plan to travel out of the country, make sure your desired airline will have space and time for your trip. Most European airlines have resorted to capping their flights and adding passenger limits.

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Plan on waiting

The Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport has a typical wait time of 26 minutes, but during the holidays those times can easily triple. This year more than 2,200 flights were canceled and 25,000 were delayed during the July 4 holiday.

“This is a really great time for travelers to ensure they are enrolled in programs that cut down on the time you need to spend at the airport and will make that travel process easier, so ensure that you are enrolled in TSA PreCheck or Clear,” Melanie Lieberman, senior features editor at travel site The Points Guy, told TODAY.

To check the status of TSA wait times for your ATL flight visit atl.com.

Be flexible

Instead of picking a time that’s the most common — between the hours of 7 p.m. -9p.m. on a weekend — fly out earlier in the week. Experts also say to take the earliest flight that you can (if you aren’t bothered by waking up earlier); they’re less likely to be overbooked.

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Be cautious

Holiday travel season aligns with the yearly flu season. Also, remember, mask mandates are no longer in effect.

If you’re worried about flu season and COVID-19, pack masks, hand sanitizer and Clorox wipes to help reduce the risk of contamination. While most travelers might not wear a mask, you can still wear one and keep a distance.

Kids mean extra time, fees

There’s no such thing as traveling light when it comes to flying with kids. Extra bags means extra baggage fees. You can also pay for early boarding; it’s an extra expense, but it can be a real time saver.

“If you have a whole family traveling only with carry-ons, you want to make sure you have room for your bags in the overhead compartment. Keeping your family together and getting early boarding is one way to cut down on the stress a little bit more.” said Lieberman.