12 Tips On How To Avoid Crowds, Lineups & Wait Times While Traveling

Travel isn’t always about moving.

In fact, oftentimes it includes a lot of waiting and staying still. We know how difficult it can be to stand in lines and wait in crowds. And we can’t forget the delays. Ugh. Let’s call it the lackluster side of travel. 

There may be a few ways you haven’t considered avoiding these wait times so we’ve gathered them here.

Check out 12 tips on how to avoid crowds, lineups, and wait times while traveling. 

How to Avoid Crowds, Lines & Waiting at Customs

Sign up for TSA Pre-Check. 

One way to cut down your time spent at the airport is by signing up for TSA Pre-Check and/or Global Entry. These expedite your time spent in the customs line. 

Download the US Customs and Border Patrol Mobile Passport App.

The US Customs and Border Patrol Mobile Passport app might just save you a ton of time while waiting in line at customs.

This app was created to streamline traveler’s arrival into the United States. In addition, “Travelers who successfully use an authorized app will no longer have to complete a paper form or use an APC kiosk. As a result, travelers may experience shorter wait times, less congestion, and efficient processing.”

No papers to fill out after a long exhausting flight?! Count us in! 

Consider traveling during the fall or winter months.

Depending on where you are traveling from and where you are traveling to, there’s a good chance there will be longer lines and more crowds during the warmer, sunnier months of the year.

Consider traveling during the fall or winter, where travel tends to slow because many people are working or do not want to leave their homes in the cold, bad weather. 

How to Avoid Crowds, Lines & Waiting at Security

Pack light.

When you pack lighter, you have less stuff to carry and it will take you less time to get through security.

Think about it, when everyone else is scrambling to pack up their belongings, you will already be halfway to your gate. 

Know how it works.

If you come ready to go at security, you can stay organized and move through the process more efficiently.

Take shoes off, put in the bin. Empty pockets of any electronics. Place the bag in another bin. Place all electronics in their own separate bin. Be sure to separate toiletries and liquids in a clear bag too.

Double-check this information the next time you fly so that you know exactly what to do at the airport you’ll be using.

How to Avoid Crowds, Lines & Waiting at Attractions

Book tickets in advance.

Booking tickets in advance might seem obvious, and it is. But when we’re booking accommodations, airfare, and transportation, it’s easy to forget about booking tickets in advance.

But if you book tickets in advance to your favorite attractions and sightseeing spots, you will save time and not have to worry about waiting! For instance, waiting in line to see the Top of the Rock in NYC or tickets to get to the top of the Eiffel Tower.

Book a guided tour or special tour.

For many sights around the world, you can book tickets and walk around it yourself reading all the little plaques and maps you can find. But in some places, you might find you want a tour guide.

Luckily for us, there are thousands of tours across the internet waiting for us. By booking a guided tour or a special tour, you skip the line and get to see the attraction! Plus tours are often allowed special access to certain areas or after-hours access too.

Book your trip in your destination’s off season.

Of course, we all want the weather to be perfect on each and every part of our fantastic journeys around the world, however, that’s not always the case.

We’re here to tell you to book in the off-season when the weather isn’t as great, and you’ll save yourself tons of time (and money).

For instance, consider a trip to London in the late fall or early winter when it will be cold and rainy. Or you’ll skip Miami this spring break and head to Arizona. The sky’s the limit! 

Check your time.

At tourist hot spots and sights, you’ll find it’s best to arrive super early or very late. The majority of the visitors will visit in the middle of the day and in the morning. 

Consider going during the week vs. on a weekend. 

If waking up at the crack of dawn to get on line for the Vatican isn’t your thing, consider visiting sights like these during the week rather than on a weekend.

When your planning your trip’s itinerary, if you have time on the weekend, try to go see less popular destinations and save the big ones for during the week. 

Ask the front desk. 

Don’t be afraid to ask questions while you’re traveling. There are people in these positions to help you learn more about their city and see all that it has to offer.

Those people are in your very own hotel or hostel! Go to the front desk and ask these people the best times to visit certain attractions and which days of the week. We’re sure you won’t regret this! 

Pay attention to the time of year.

Be mindful of which holidays are celebrated in your home country and the country you’ll be visiting.

In both of these cases, you will experience tons of crowds and waiting. For instance, if it’s peak spring break season or over Christmas break, many more people are traveling. 

Now that you’ve seen our list of 12 tips on how to avoid cross, lineups, and wait times while traveling, what did you think? Did we miss any? Leave us a comment below! 

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