12 travel tips for the holidays

The holidays are our busiest time of the year. There are more people, lots of families and longer queues.

Save time and head away with your holiday spirit in full working order with these 12 handy tips.

1. Need to change your flight details?

You can check your flights, update your bookings and manage your preferences online and on the Air NZ mobile app. Remember, the earlier you update your booking, the easier it is to accommodate your changes.

Update your booking online

Man holding mobile phone viewing Air NZ app.

2. Arriving on time means arriving early

This is a busy time of year everywhere, so leave plenty of time and arrive early. Traffic can be heavy, queues are longer and people often need more help. Be sure to leave earlier than you normally would. Our app can keep you informed of any unexpected flight delays or changes.

Get the Air NZ mobile app

3. Book a car space ahead of time

Driving around and around in a full car park, hunting for a space while the kids melt down and the clock ticks down isn’t the perfect start to your holiday. Instead, book your space in advance. Turn up, roll in to your space and you’re on holiday already.

Book your car space online

4. Travelling internationally? Give yourself even more time

Allow more time for international travel. As well as the check-in queues, there’s passport control, security checks and often more people per plane as well. The best way to stay cool and calm is to arrive twice as early as usual. And if you end up with time on your hands, you can treat yourself at the terminal's shops, cafes and restaurants.

Tips for international trips

5. Double check your international travel documents

Your international travel documents are super-important. Be sure your passports are current and won’t expire in the next six months. Double-check the situation with visas or other entry documents. Power tip: use your phone to take photos of your passport, visas, driver’s license and itinerary, just in case.

Travel documents and visas

Children at airport with baggage.

6. Book space for those extra bags packed with gifts

At this time of year you could need to pack a lot more than usual – it’s the season of giving, after all. If you're lucky, you might even be coming home with a big load as well. Check how many bags you can pack, and how to arrange more if you need them.

Your baggage allowance

7. Just in case… take out insurance

Covering yourself against things going wrong makes good sense. Your trip will probably go perfectly smoothly. But insurance is still good peace of mind. It can cover you for missing connecting flights, buying clothes if your baggage goes missing, medical expenses and more. After all, no one ever came back from their trip saying, "Thank goodness we didn't have travel insurance."

Arrange your travel insurance

8. Book your special meals before you fly

Do you or your family have special dietary requirements? If you’re dining with us in the air, we can help. Our special meals mean you don’t have to compromise your health or your beliefs when you fly. We offer a range of special meals on selected flights that you can request before your flight.

Update your meals online

Air New Zealand grandma and child hugging

9. Arrange special assistance you need – we’re happy to help

Our trained crew can help make your flight comfortable and accessible. We’re geared up to help with all sorts of needs, so don’t hesitate to ask for help.

Request assistance on your flight

10. Children flying on their own

Flying alone can be a great adventure for children, and we’re here to help make it fun and safe. Arrive a little earlier than usual so we can meet you and explain the journey to your children. We even have our Airband™: a cool bracelet for your child. Every time they pass a stage in their journey, you and up to four others can receive a text update.

Children flying alone

11. Checking the list twice?

If you’ve forgotten something in your travel planning, don’t panic. We can help with taxis, rental cars, hotels, travel insurance and more, and you can do it all online.

Check out our travel essentials

12. Have fun and enjoy the experience

Things will be busy, and something that usually takes half an hour at the airport could take twice as long. But once you settle into your seat and your flight takes off, it’s all worth it. Plan ahead for potential delays, take the pressure off by being prepared, and get ready for a wonderful holiday with Air New Zealand.

More information about your flight