Holiday crowds can trigger long airport lines and jammed overhead bins, and make it tough to get on another flight if your original one is delayed or canceled.
"As much as you can, start thinking about Plan B," Ed Perkins, a contributing editor for SmarterTravel.com, told CNBC earlier this year. "If there is a problem, what are you going to do?"
Some of the best travel tactics require planning — picking a nonstop flight instead of one with a layover, for example, applying for trusted traveler status to gain access to priority security lines and avoiding airports prone to bad winter weather and other delays.
But even at the last minute, plenty of strategies can help travelers troubleshoot travel woes.