Although the holiday season is fast approaching, some of you may still have important business travel scheduled that coincides with busier travel days – say, anytime after December 17th? With all the joy and excitement the season brings, along come some unique travel complications that you don’t need to think about at any other time of the year. 

Here’s how to make it to your client visits and out-of-town meetings with your holiday spirit intact:

    Check airport parking before you go. There’s nothing worse than getting to the airport with only minutes to spare, just to find that the airport parking lot is full. Don’t risk missing your flight if you have to park at an out-of-the-way lot – check parking availability before you leave for the airport and reserve in advance when possible.

    Reserve a rental car pre-trip. Make sure the rental car at your destination is reserved before your trip – there will be a lot more competition for a car during the busy travel season.

    Escape the crowds. Now’s the time to use your airport lounge membership to flee the madness of airport terminals crowded with stressed-out holiday travelers. Don’t have an annual membership? Most lounges offer day passes for a reasonable fee – enjoy some peace and maybe get some work done while you wait for takeoff.

    Stay one step ahead. Use a flight tracking app on your smartphone to check your flight status and see weather forecasts and airport delays to anticipate travel snags – if your flight does get cancelled or severely delayed, find the next available flight and rebook via phone, without waiting in endless customer service lines.

    Get the lay of the land. Navigate quickly through unfamiliar airports by viewing an airport map on your smartphone while you’re waiting to disembark - check the airport’s mobile website or one of the airport guide apps available for your phone.

Though these tips can’t ensure you won’t be seated next to a fussy toddler on the flight or be grounded by a winter storm in Chicago, they can help you stay sane during the busiest travel season of the year. While you’re downloading flight tracking and airport guide apps, you may want to get some kid-friendly games if you feel like sharing your smartphone with the aforementioned tiny traveler – it could help you (and the rest of the plane) have a happier flight.