(NewsNation) —Traveling is getting tougher in the United States. Airport delays and cancellations are becoming more frequent and drivers are facing rocketing gas prices and congested highways near major cities.
Despite all the difficulties facing travelers, heavy travel is still expected to occur over the Fourth of July holiday weekend.
NewsNation spoke with two travel experts who gave their best tips for traveling, at least somewhat smoothly, over the high-traffic weekend.
Amanda Klimak, the president of Largay Travel, said preparation and patience are key, especially if you’re traveling via flight.
“Travel is an amazing privilege that we have and most people want to go, they want to travel, you just have to pack your patience,” Klimak said. “You want to be prepared, check in early, pre-book parking, make sure you can use the MyTSA app to see how TSA is at every airport and just be prepared. But you have to go in willing to wait and willing to deal with what’s going on right now.”
If you are stuck waiting at the airport for a long time, or have your flight flat-out canceled, Klimak said there are key steps you must take to help yourself.
“Usually after two hours you are entitled to some type of compensation or offer to change,” Klimak said. “But the airlines have been challenged, both in the airport and on the flights, and they’re doing the best they can although we hope things will get much better than they are right now.”
Long wait times, delays and cancelations make up a bulk of the headaches air travelers will face at the airport, but perhaps none of those are as frustrating as the dreaded lost luggage.
“My biggest suggestion (for lost luggage) is don’t ever leave the airport without filing a written report with the airline so they have the information and you have claim ticket to actually follow up on,” Klimak said.
Those attempting to avoid airport frustrations by taking to the highways may run into headaches of their own. Historically high gas prices need no introduction here but heavy holiday traffic can be expected this weekend as well.
Travel expert Johnny Jet said the best way to try to beat traffic is to use traffic monitoring tools.
“Before I even go to the grocery store I bust out my apps, Waze, or Apple Maps, or Google Maps and I just find out what the best route is at that time because everything can change,” he said.
Driving early in the morning or late at night can also help mitigate traffic, Jet said.
But what about those high gas prices? Unfortunately, not much can be done about those this holiday weekend, but there are a few options to at least take a little bit of the pain away at the pump.
“If you want to save money at the pump, download the app GasBuddy. It will show you where the cheapest gases are,” Jet said. “If you’re a member of Costco, you can get in line there and save some money. Take the golf clubs out of the trunk, or anything heavy, because that weighs you down and that will save you on fuel economy.”