Ask Trip Coach: Holiday Travel

The airports are crowded, the weather is dodgy, and stress levels are high. Here's where to go and how to get there with your sanity intact.

AIRPORT DIVERSIONS
BNA Three stages at Nashville International host live local country, rock, bluegrass, and blues music.

IAD At D.C.'s Dulles, a Smithsonian Store sells everything from Native American jewelry to astronaut-themed chessboards.

JFK Six XpresSpa outlets offer spa treatments (manicures, massages, facials) in as little as 10 minutes.

ORD At Chicago O'Hare's Terminal 2, the "Kids on the Fly" play area has a tot-size air traffic control tower, a helicopter, and more.

OAK Fentons Creamery, in Oakland, is an outpost of a 115-year-old Bay Area ice-cream temple. Try the Swiss milk chocolate flavor.

THE WAITING GAME
Don't spend your time stuck in the airport being miserable. Amuse yourselves with this game that's a mishmash of a treasure hunt, I Spy, and plain old nosy people-watching. Here are five things you're likely to see while waiting for your flight; the first person in your group to spot them all wins.

• Adult wearing Crocs
• Person on a Bluetooth headset
• Traveler wearing a neck pillow
• A love connection at the bar
• Parent with a child on a leash

AIRPORT DELAY SCORECARD
There are 25 major hub airports in the U.S., and if you're making a connection, chances are good you're heading through one of them this holiday season. Reduce your risk of delay by targeting the five best ones by on-time departure (and avoiding the worst).

Best: Hubs with the highest percentage of on-time departures
76% Charlotte
75% Houston Intercontinental
72% D.C. Reagan National
71% Cleveland
70% Phoenix

Worst: Hubs with the lowest percentage of on-time departures
57% Newark Liberty
59% Chicago O'Hare
61% Seattle
61% Portland
62% San Francisco

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.
 

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