WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - The holiday season is officially underway, and travel experts suggest planning your Christmas and New Year travel plans now.
Many people have horror stories of when they traveled for the holiday.
"I remember going to Maryland, my sisters house one Thanksgiving, and I think we were in traffic for three hours to go what should have taken, it should've taken 45 minutes and it took three hours," Donna Shepard of Easthampton said.
But travel experts say your Christmas and New Year trips don't have to be a headache, as long as you plan for it now.
"Our best advice is to book early," AAA Pioneer Valley spokesperson Mandy Ginley said. "It's not too late to get a 21 day advanced purchase, it's how to get the best deal, and it's not too late to get that for Christmas if you book now."
Expect that you won't be alone in your travels this year. Analysts say consumer confidence is up compared to last year, and so more people will be spending money on travel.
If you have to travel far this year- AAA's Mindy Ginley suggests saving time and money by traveling on the holiday itself if you can, as airfare is usually cheaper and it's likely roads and airports will be quiet.
Also, she says consider using a travel agent, as they sometimes have access to deals that you don't.
Some really don't like the prospect of hitting the road during the holidays at all. "I hate the traffic, I've done it in the past," Maryanne Quinn of Ludlow said.
If you'd rather fly this holiday, travel light. Fewer bags means that you are less likely to get hit with expensive bag fees. It also reduces your chance of losing luggage and avoiding any unnecessary stress this holiday season.