10 Ways To Be A Super-Savvy Holiday Traveler

More people are flying this holiday season than in years past. Whether you’re already a pro or flying to grandma’s house by air for the very first time, here are 10 tips to ensure you’re a super-savvy holiday traveler.

  1. Know Your Flight StatusRDU_3192

Keep a close eye on your flight’s status to ensure that you don’t face any unexpected surprises at the ticket counter. Most airlines offer e-mail or app alerts to keep you informed of flight changes.

You can also monitor your flight’s status from rdu.com. Remember that flights are routinely affected by weather throughout the nation, including the city your plane is coming from.

  1. Pack Smart

RDU_3187No one wants to repack suitcases on the floor of the ticketing lobby. Check your airline’s bag policies before packing. Also, know how many carry-on bags are allowed. You can see whether your intended carry-on item(s) are within your carrier’s approved sizes by using the sizing racks at the ticket counters and gates.

One more tip: consider a bright color luggage tag to help your bag stand out on the bag carousel at your destination.

  1. Prep for Security Screening

Even infrequent flyers know the drill going through the security checkpoint. Coats off. Belts off. Shoes off. Liquids in a clear plastic bag.

But, are you up to speed on traveling with medications? What about bringing home some of grandma’s famous fruitcake? Take a minute to view our security screening tips page to get the answers to common security checkpoint conundrums.

  1. Arrive Early

RDU_3787Two Hours. That’s how early ahead of your flight you should plan to arrive at RDU. But do you know why? Most flights begin boarding 30 minutes before the scheduled departure time. (Larger planes may begin even earlier.)

While RDU is built to move large numbers of people quickly through our facilities, you need to allow time for locating a parking space, security screening, gate changes and the unexpected.

  1. Park Wise

We offer more than 20,000 parking spaces, with 11,000 of those located within walking distance of the terminals. Due to the number of travelers we are expecting this year, the daily section of the garage and Park and Ride 3 may fill. We expect plenty of spaces in Park & Ride 4, located near U.S. 70. Electronic signs located near airport entrances will keep you informed on parking status.

  1. Pay at the Exit

If parking in the garage, head straight for the exit. When it’s time to pay for parking, skip the pay-on-foot machines outside the terminals and drive to the exit plaza. Choose one of the credit lanes and pay from the comfort of your car.

  1. Make The Shops of RDU Your Own

RDU_3745We have more than 40 great shops and restaurants in our terminals, but here are two things you may not know.

  • You can customize any menu item at any of our restaurants and they will prepare any menu item to go upon request.
  • All of the Shops of RDU will ship items for you at cost. No need to take your gift purchases on the plane.
  1. Meet and Relax

RDU_2862Picking up loved ones and meeting them in the terminal? Park in our Hourly Lots for just $1 per hour. Passengers (except London and Cancun) arrive at The Meeting Place in each terminal.

  1. Enjoy Yourself

On peak travel days this holiday season, enjoy live music performances by local performers. Check out the schedule here.

  1. Connect With RDU

Stay informed of the latest airport status updates via Twitter at @RDUairport. You can also connect through Facebook and our newest channel, Instagram by visiting @flyrdu.

Want to know more about holiday travel? Check out or holiday travel guide at rdu.com.

About Andrew Sawyer

Andrew Sawyer is the External Communication Specialist for the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority and is the main writer for RDU’s website, electronic communication and airport publications. He’s also the primary face behind RDU’s social media channels. Andrew also assists with many other things, from media relations to event planning. In fact, he has an advanced degree in "other duties as assigned."
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