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Flying on December 25 can become with discounts and other perks, but it can also mean longer transit times and fewer dining options. Here’s what to know before traveling on Christmas.

Holiday travel is often crazy and hectic, but there is one way to beat the crowds: by traveling on Christmas Day. Christmas Day usually means less crowded airports and cheaper flights. However, it can also mean many airport amenities are closed or out of service. Here’s what you need to know before traveling on December 25.

1. Pack your own food.

Although airports and train stations will be open on Christmas Day, not all of their shops and restaurants will be. Most of these places are run by outside vendors who can make their own decisions about being open independently of the airport. Be sure to pack your own snacks just in case you get hangry.

2. Plan extra travel time to airports and train stations.

We have actually seen some flights depart early on Christmas Day, but the same can’t be said for public transportation to and from the airport, which is almost always running on some kind of modified schedule. Make sure you look up travel advisories ahead of time if you’re taking the subway or bus to the airport. If you opt for a taxi or car service, some charge higher fees on holidays, so do your research.

3. Have extra reading material on hand.

While some airports amenities are still available on Christmas Day – those vending machines aren’t going to shut down- others won’t be. In case the Hudson News is closed, make sure your e-reader is fully stocked or you have a new book in tow. The relative quiet of the airport lends itself nicely to reading.

4. Festive attire is welcome, but not required.

Although many of the people working on Christmas Day are people who don’t celebrate the holiday, many others are missing out on quality time with their loved ones. It’s not unusual to see flight attendants or gate agents sporting holiday-themed accessories, so if you want to break out the Santa tie or jingle bell earrings, now’s your chance.

5. Keep emergency info closed at hand.

Although December 25 is often an easy day for travelers thanks to the lack of crowds, it’s still in the winter; therefore, increment weather can be an issue. In case airports are understaffed and you have trouble finding someone at the information desk, make sure all of your emergency contact info is handy. Print out any confirmation numbers you might need, in case they’re saved on your phone and you can’t get good reception, along with phone numbers for hotels and car rental companies, etc.

6. Be nice and own might just score an upgrade.

Half-empty flights, trains, and hotels mean that you have tons of chances to trade up for first class or better room. Often, all you need to do is ask – and if you’ve been friendly and polite to the receptionist or gate agent, they may even offer. Happy holidays, indeed.

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