Expert shares top 5 tips for successful holiday air travel

DENVER -- 'Tis the season for airline travel.  More than a million people are expected to fly through Denver International Airport during Thanksgiving week, and more when Christmas rolls around.

In fact, air travel is up 10 percent.

The FOX31 Problem Solvers talked to Travelzoo Senior Editor Gabe Saglie about the best way to navigate it all, especially if you are traveling with kids.

“I always tell people fend for yourself, if you want to escape the reality of sitting in the middle seat of row 38.”

Timing is everything

While many  people already have tickets for holiday travel, it’s not too late to save on airfare.  Saglie says timing is everything. “Tuesdays and Wednesdays certainly tend to be generally speaking ... cheaper days to fly than a Monday or a Thursday-Friday. More than extending your trip it`s about playing with the days where the demand is less.”

Baggage hacks

Baggage hacks come in handy when it comes to saving on fees that can soar to $75 per bag.  “These airlines are making billions of dollars  from these ancillary fees so they`re not going anywhere,” Saglie said.

Travel experts say a great way to avoid paying too many baggage fees is to ship large items ahead of time to your destination.  Make sure to do the math to determine whether you really are saving money.

Get a good seat

Getting a good seat is also possible. It’s all in the timing. For a seat with 5-6 inches of extra legroom check again 24 hours or even a couple of hours before your flight. Some seats may open up at the last minute.

Flying with children

Keeping kids happy on the plane isn't as difficult as you may think.

A father of three, Saglie said laying the groundwork for a pleasant flight begins at home. “Encourage them to love the fact that they`re traveling and that helps them deal with confined spaces and long wait times.”

He also said that adding excitement about the trip is as easy as pointing out simple facts about flying. “I generate excitement, 'we`re up 30,000 feet. Look out the window, look how cool it is. We`re travelling in space across the country!”

Stay positive

Saglie said the most important thing is to stay positive and keep your goal in mind. At the end of that flight you`ll be sharing  special time with loved ones, making everything well worth it.