With Christmas just around the corner most people will be starting to think about the festive season but for some travellers this will only truly start when they return home to their families from their final business trip of 2018.

Although some travel disruptions are completely out of your control and can’t be avoided we have put together a list to help reduce the risk of delays impacting your seasonal celebrations.

Plan with Risks in Mind

Planning upfront is the easiest way to stay a few steps ahead over the Christmas period. As soon as you are aware you will be away close to Christmas you should aim to carry out a risk assessment, with the destination of your trip the main focal point as some destinations are more likely than others to experience disruptions.

When booking a flight, it is advisable to avoid stop overs where weather hits harder than other places, such as New York City and Chicago, which are more likely to be affect by snow storms compared to more southern cities in the United States.

Another factor to consider when planning travel is that during the run-up to Christmas extra leisure holiday travellers put most modes of transport under more pressure than other times of the year, meaning you will need to book early to secure return travel that gets you home before Christmas.

Get Online

Checking in online as soon as possible is very important over the Christmas period because as soon as you check in you an airline has a certain level of responsibility over its passengers. This means the airline has a certain obligation to keep you updated on any issues around your flight delays, cancellations or anything which may disrupt your journey.

This means that if an event which disrupted your travel plans were to arise you will know straight away allowing for contingency plans to be put in place and the airline may even make them for you depending on the reason for the disruption.

The online check in process will also flag up any important issues which may affect your travel such as passport validity, which if there are any problems may take several days to sort depending on the issue.

Keep the Essentials Close

Although we don’t want to point out the obvious, we know how easy it can be to forget the essentials when you have other things on your mind such as getting home on time for Christmas. One of our top tips travellers is to always keep your mobile phone sufficiently charged at all times, an e-ticket or boarding pass held in an app is of little use when you have a dead battery.

This can lead to the need to access a computer or even a visit to the customer service desk to print off important documents, which can mean additional costs and even missed flights when time is not on your side.

We also advise keeping copies of hard documents and the contact details for everyone you come across on your journey such as the car hire company, the people you are meeting and your hotel in the event of any problems in accessing this information if it is stored on a phone or laptop.

Allow for Extra Time

Although it is always sensible to allow extra time for your journey than necessary never has this being truer than around the Christmas period. Allowing extra time after your last meeting or selecting the later flight are safe ways to make sure you make it home this Christmas.

Unfortunately, many travellers will fail to reach their final destination this winter therefore it is always important to think of contingency plans to such an outcome from delaying your trip home.

Enjoy the Festive Holidays

If you are planning a trip between now and Christmas, there is still plenty of opportunity to be proactive to help reduce your chances of being delayed on the way back.

By following the above simple but often overlooked tips, you can help ensure a successful festive period of business trips that will get you home in time for Christmas.