* Indicates required fields

GeolocationDrop-Off at Different Location

Drop-Off at Same Location

 
 
 
Warning
WarningPackage not available on dates selected. Please enter alternative dates.
 Checkbox
 
 

* Indicates required fields

  Alaska Cruise Tours Help - Opens a dialog

Alaska Cruise Tours:

A cruise tour is a voyage and land tour combination, with the land tour occurring before or after the voyage. Unless otherwise noted, optional services such as airfare, airport transfers, shore excursions, land tour excursions, etc. are not included and are available for an additional cost.

 
 

* Indicates required fields

Warning
WarningPackage not available on dates selected. Please enter alternative dates.
 Checkbox
 
 
 

Tips and holiday stories from experts at Costco Travel.




One of my favorite holiday travel memories was traveling to Texas to visit family when I was a kid. It wasn’t the trip I remember though. We drove, and at the time we had 3 kids and 2 adults in a station wagon headed from Washington State to Texas. Unlike Santa’s sleigh, our station wagon wasn’t magic, and we could only fit the necessities for the trip. What I remember the most was coming back home, and finding out that Santa had left presents for all of us while we were on vacation. Magic!

From the crowds, the kids and the gifts, traveling during the holiday season is enough to make you break out into a cold sweat. It doesn’t have to be that way! Don’t merely survive your holiday travel, make it your own wonderful experience with these tips and stories from the Travel experts here at Costco Travel.

    Visiting with Family

    by Mary Lou I.

    Patience is a Virtue: When a friend of mine was travelling with her young daughter she packed a bunch of little trinkets and toys in her carry on, each one double wrapped and taped so it would take a bit for her daughter to reach the present. If she was well behaved on the flight for a certain amount of time, mommy would pull out another “gift” for her to open.

    Don’t Forget the Sharpener!: I gave my granddaughters some fancy coloring books and pencils for their trip home, and they really appreciated that I included a pencil sharpener.

    Satisfied Tummies: I give my kids something to eat as we take off whenever we are flying. This keeps their ears clear and they don’t get hungry and crabby waiting for the food cart. (Seems like we’re always last!)

    In Arms Reach: When my son was a toddler, we flew a number of times with a child harness. I looped the handles of it through the seat belt of his seat while on board. He could climb on and off the seat, sit on the floor and play with his toys, and he didn’t have to be held. He was always safe if some unexpected turbulence came up.

    Sand Proof: First trip to the shore with a baby, I ended up taking one of our small suitcases and a sheer curtain down to the beach and used it as a crib when he went to sleep. The sheer curtain kept sand from blowing in and disrupting his rest.

    Two Steps Ahead: When I travel to my sons for Christmas, I order gifts online and have them delivered to them ahead of time, then I wrap them when I get there.

      Flexible Travel Dates

      by Krista G

      Skip the holiday rush, without missing valuable time with family and friends! Take a few extra days off to travel to your destination prior to the holiday, and a few extra days off after the holiday to get back home.

        Travel on the Holiday

        by Kristi Y.

        Travel on the holiday, rather than before or after (i.e. Christmas Day). Instead of the mad rush of holiday travelers you’ll encounter a pretty deserted airport and you can stroll on through. (This is tested and proven, Kristi did this successfully last year!)

        If you have to travel close to the holiday, buy your tickets at least five months in advance. At the three month point most people start realizing they need to book holiday travel. Prices start to climb and availability starts to close up. (May not apply to all destinations.)

          Keep Snacks at the Ready

          by Jack D.

          Always buy a snack and drink after going through security at the airport to beat emergency hunger/thirst in the air. Try to make sure that your snack and drink are small enough to fit in the pocket of the seat in front of you on board, to guarantee easy access during take-off. Also bring a battery pack to recharge phones/iPads/whatever electronics you have on the flight.

            Glide Through the Mishaps with Grace and Style

            by Mary T.

            Years ago my husband and I booked a two-week cruise that was scheduled to depart two days before Christmas. Knowing the cruise would be particularly festive, we packed a wardrobe of fancy clothes for evenings onboard. Everything was well planned: pet sitter booked, gifts mailed early… we were all set to go. But on the morning of our flight, we overslept! After a few solid minutes of freaking out, we made a mad dash for the airport and with some creative rerouting (including an extra connection), the airline was able to book us through to Florida in time for the cruise. Crisis averted, we settled down in the boarding area awaiting our first flight. It was then I realized we’d left the garment bag full of formal wear hanging in the hall closet at home! At this point we had a choice, give in to the day’s second meltdown or remind ourselves that when you travel, stuff happens. We were safe, healthy and lucky enough to be taking what a lot of people might consider the trip of a lifetime. In the end my husband was able to borrow a dinner jacket from the cruise director and I bought some costume jewelry from the onboard shop to dress up some clothing that had made the journey with me. The cruise turned out to be one of our most enjoyable travel experiences. Grace, style and a little perspective can carry you through almost anything, even formal night.

              Flying with Little Ones

              By Penny A.

              I fly with my kids at least once a year, and one challenge I’ve found with my younger one is that he can’t quite understand why he shouldn’t kick at the seat in front of him. Rather than getting upset at him, I swing his legs onto my lap. This provides him with freedom to move them, while not impacting the person seated in front of him. It’s also a more relaxed position for watching videos, so he likes it. I know this won’t work as he grows, but I’m counting on maturity level to take care of it once he’s big enough to reach the floor, which is happening a lot faster than I wish!

              Another challenge traveling with my kids is keeping them busy and engaged during the flight or drive. We use age-appropriate coloring and drawing options to help with this. It gave me the opportunity to learn that my teenager is quite the artist! We have also taken advantage of small mobile devices with preloaded games and movies. If you have a magic purse* (like I do!), you can hide small new toys and bring them out during different points of the trip to bolster imagination play.

              *A magic purse is a largish purse or handbag with a lot of hidden pockets where fun things can be hidden. Think “bigger on the inside”. I highly recommend finding a magic purse!

                On a Serious Note...

                By Mona S.

                I’ve never traveled during the holidays, but I learned a lot of helpful tips from members who experienced issues with their holiday vacation when I worked in Member Services here at Costco Travel. Once, I helped a member who unfortunately packed his medication in his checked bag and missed his connecting flight, leaving him stranded at the airport for almost eight hours to face a bigger problem: his health. Luckily, he was okay, but it could’ve been worse. So please, if you have health issues, always pack your medications in your carry-on just in case you miss your connecting flight or lose your checked bag(s).

                When I travel, I always print a copy (or two) of my itinerary in the event my smartphone doesn’t cooperate. It doesn’t hurt to confirm your travel agency’s contact information/holiday hours prior to departure. That being said, purchasing travel insurance is the ultimate way to set your mind at ease, but it’s a road less-traveled (pun intended).

                  Image of Santa and gifts on a tropical beach.

                  Sometimes you just need to get away from it all!

                  Get Away from It All

                  By Penny A.

                  The holiday season might be the perfect time to get away. An all-inclusive resort in Mexico or the Caribbean might be exactly what you need to recharge. Or maybe it’s a bucket-list vacation to Tahiti in an overwater bungalow that gets you ready for the new year. A quick stay in the bright lights of The Strip in Las Vegas might be just the right amount of holiday spirit. Why merely survive when you can thrive?

                  From all of us at Costco Travel, happy holidays, and safe travels during them!

                    One of my favorite holiday travel memories was traveling to Texas to visit family when I was a kid. It wasn’t the trip I remember though. We drove, and at the time we had 3 kids and 2 adults in a station wagon headed from Washington State to Texas. Unlike Santa’s sleigh, our station wagon wasn’t magic, and we could only fit the necessities for the trip. What I remember the most was coming back home, and finding out that Santa had left presents for all of us while we were on vacation. Magic!

                    From the crowds, the kids and the gifts, traveling during the holiday season is enough to make you break out into a cold sweat. It doesn’t have to be that way! Don’t merely survive your holiday travel, make it your own wonderful experience with these tips and stories from the Travel experts here at Costco Travel.

                      Visiting with Family

                      by Mary Lou I.

                      Patience is a Virtue: When a friend of mine was travelling with her young daughter she packed a bunch of little trinkets and toys in her carry on, each one double wrapped and taped so it would take a bit for her daughter to reach the present. If she was well behaved on the flight for a certain amount of time, mommy would pull out another “gift” for her to open.

                      Don’t Forget the Sharpener!: I gave my granddaughters some fancy coloring books and pencils for their trip home, and they really appreciated that I included a pencil sharpener.

                      Satisfied Tummies: I give my kids something to eat as we take off whenever we are flying. This keeps their ears clear and they don’t get hungry and crabby waiting for the food cart. (Seems like we’re always last!)

                      In Arms Reach: When my son was a toddler, we flew a number of times with a child harness. I looped the handles of it through the seat belt of his seat while on board. He could climb on and off the seat, sit on the floor and play with his toys, and he didn’t have to be held. He was always safe if some unexpected turbulence came up.

                      Sand Proof: First trip to the shore with a baby, I ended up taking one of our small suitcases and a sheer curtain down to the beach and used it as a crib when he went to sleep. The sheer curtain kept sand from blowing in and disrupting his rest.

                      Two Steps Ahead: When I travel to my sons for Christmas, I order gifts online and have them delivered to them ahead of time, then I wrap them when I get there.

                        Flexible Travel Dates

                        by Krista G

                        Skip the holiday rush, without missing valuable time with family and friends! Take a few extra days off to travel to your destination prior to the holiday, and a few extra days off after the holiday to get back home.

                          Travel on the Holiday

                          by Kristi Y.

                          Travel on the holiday, rather than before or after (i.e. Christmas Day). Instead of the mad rush of holiday travelers you’ll encounter a pretty deserted airport and you can stroll on through. (This is tested and proven, Kristi did this successfully last year!)

                          If you have to travel close to the holiday, buy your tickets at least five months in advance. At the three month point most people start realizing they need to book holiday travel. Prices start to climb and availability starts to close up. (May not apply to all destinations.)

                            Keep Snacks at the Ready

                            by Jack D.

                            Always buy a snack and drink after going through security at the airport to beat emergency hunger/thirst in the air. Try to make sure that your snack and drink are small enough to fit in the pocket of the seat in front of you on board, to guarantee easy access during take-off. Also bring a battery pack to recharge phones/iPads/whatever electronics you have on the flight.

                              Glide Through the Mishaps with Grace and Style

                              by Mary T.

                              Years ago my husband and I booked a two-week cruise that was scheduled to depart two days before Christmas. Knowing the cruise would be particularly festive, we packed a wardrobe of fancy clothes for evenings onboard. Everything was well planned: pet sitter booked, gifts mailed early… we were all set to go. But on the morning of our flight, we overslept! After a few solid minutes of freaking out, we made a mad dash for the airport and with some creative rerouting (including an extra connection), the airline was able to book us through to Florida in time for the cruise. Crisis averted, we settled down in the boarding area awaiting our first flight. It was then I realized we’d left the garment bag full of formal wear hanging in the hall closet at home! At this point we had a choice, give in to the day’s second meltdown or remind ourselves that when you travel, stuff happens. We were safe, healthy and lucky enough to be taking what a lot of people might consider the trip of a lifetime. In the end my husband was able to borrow a dinner jacket from the cruise director and I bought some costume jewelry from the onboard shop to dress up some clothing that had made the journey with me. The cruise turned out to be one of our most enjoyable travel experiences. Grace, style and a little perspective can carry you through almost anything, even formal night.

                                Flying with Little Ones

                                By Penny A.

                                I fly with my kids at least once a year, and one challenge I’ve found with my younger one is that he can’t quite understand why he shouldn’t kick at the seat in front of him. Rather than getting upset at him, I swing his legs onto my lap. This provides him with freedom to move them, while not impacting the person seated in front of him. It’s also a more relaxed position for watching videos, so he likes it. I know this won’t work as he grows, but I’m counting on maturity level to take care of it once he’s big enough to reach the floor, which is happening a lot faster than I wish!

                                Another challenge traveling with my kids is keeping them busy and engaged during the flight or drive. We use age-appropriate coloring and drawing options to help with this. It gave me the opportunity to learn that my teenager is quite the artist! We have also taken advantage of small mobile devices with preloaded games and movies. If you have a magic purse* (like I do!), you can hide small new toys and bring them out during different points of the trip to bolster imagination play.

                                *A magic purse is a largish purse or handbag with a lot of hidden pockets where fun things can be hidden. Think “bigger on the inside”. I highly recommend finding a magic purse!

                                  On a Serious Note...

                                  By Mona S.

                                  I’ve never traveled during the holidays, but I learned a lot of helpful tips from members who experienced issues with their holiday vacation when I worked in Member Services here at Costco Travel. Once, I helped a member who unfortunately packed his medication in his checked bag and missed his connecting flight, leaving him stranded at the airport for almost eight hours to face a bigger problem: his health. Luckily, he was okay, but it could’ve been worse. So please, if you have health issues, always pack your medications in your carry-on just in case you miss your connecting flight or lose your checked bag(s).

                                  When I travel, I always print a copy (or two) of my itinerary in the event my smartphone doesn’t cooperate. It doesn’t hurt to confirm your travel agency’s contact information/holiday hours prior to departure. That being said, purchasing travel insurance is the ultimate way to set your mind at ease, but it’s a road less-traveled (pun intended).

                                    Image of Santa and gifts on a tropical beach.

                                    Sometimes you just need to get away from it all!

                                    Get Away from It All

                                    By Penny A.

                                    The holiday season might be the perfect time to get away. An all-inclusive resort in Mexico or the Caribbean might be exactly what you need to recharge. Or maybe it’s a bucket-list vacation to Tahiti in an overwater bungalow that gets you ready for the new year. A quick stay in the bright lights of The Strip in Las Vegas might be just the right amount of holiday spirit. Why merely survive when you can thrive?

                                    From all of us at Costco Travel, happy holidays, and safe travels during them!


                                      About the Authors: The above piece was written by Penny Anderson, Merchandising/Ecommerce Manager at Costco Travel, with help from the Costco Travel Merchandising and Marketing Team.


                                       
                                       
                                       
                                      Screen is Loading