For some, the holiday season represents relaxation with a step away from work, good food, gifts and valuable time with loved ones. For those traveling, however, the holidays can be stressful and time consuming. Below are a few tips to help you better plan for Minnesota travel during the holiday season.
Is your family flying out for the holidays? Make sure to plan your parking in advance. There are two great airport parking lots, complete with shuttles, located near American Boulevard in Bloomington. Both lots fill up quickly and in order to ensure a parking spot, it is essential to make a reservation before you leave home. Otherwise, you could find yourself circling the airport and looking for a place to park. Check the websites of each lot for parking availability. Also, once you board your airplane, check the seat-back magazines for coupons. Sometimes Park ‘N Fly provides discount coupons mixed in the articles.
Park ‘N Go
7901 International Drive
Bloomington, MN 55425
Park ‘N Fly
3750 American Blvd. E.
Minneapolis, MN 55425
Take Advantage of the Light Rail
Don’t want to park at the airport? Try taking advantage of the Metro Transit Hiawatha Line Light Rail instead. The Light Rail runs from downtown Minneapolis to the Mall of America with stops at the airport in between. If you can have someone drop you off at one of the Light Rail stops, you might be able to beat parking fees and traffic. For those who cannot be dropped off, the Hiawatha line has three park-and-ride lots with free parking spaces available. This option still requires some logistical planning, though. A friend or family member may have to pick up your car for you, as overnight parking is not permitted in the Hiawatha Line lots. Read here for more information about the locations of the lots.
Above all, always plan ahead when making wintertime trips in Minnesota, especially if you must drive to your destination. Sure, weather can be unpredictable here, but in December, it’s not uncommon to face ice and snow during travel. Before leaving home, check the weather and road conditions. If necessary, give yourself extra time to reach your destination. If conditions change during your trip, don’t hesitate to have a passenger call and let your host know you could be late or that you might have to cancel. The Weather Channel and MyRadar Weather Radar provide excellent apps for up-to-date weather conditions.
Downtown Minneapolis Hotel
If you are traveling to the Twin Cities area for the holidays and need a place to stay downtown or have visitors and want to suggest a great lodging spot, consider checking out The Grand Hotel Minneapolis. This swanky boutique hotel has fabulously comfortable beds, astonishing workout facilities and a posh, relaxing ambiance. The hotel is ranked No. 4 on TripAdvisor for Minneapolis hotels and is within walking distance of many downtown Minneapolis attractions. It’s a favorite for many out-of-towners.
The Grand Hotel Minneapolis
615 2nd Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55402
Each year, several holiday events take place in downtown Minneapolis. Two of the most popular include the Holidazzle Parade and Macy’s Santaland display. The Holidazzle Parade begins at 6:30 p.m. Thursday through Sunday each week from November 25 through December 18 and features floats decorated in thousands of Christmas lights. Check out the Holidazzle website for more information. The Macy’s Santaland display is set up on the eighth floor of the downtown Macy’s store and allows families to look in on scenes and displays from the North Pole.
700 Nicollett Mall
Minneapolis, MN 55402
Kristyn Gansen is a freelance writer covering all things Minneapolis. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.