The holiday season is here, and with it one of the toughest traveling periods of the year: airports are jam packed and good tickets get harder to find. Add to this flustered airline employees and huge terminal crowds and you get a potentially stressful scene. To avoid some of the hassle of holiday travel, though, it's enough to take into consideration a few simple tips.

Shop Around For Deals
Even this late in the year, you can still find good deals on hotels and flights if you do some shopping around. Look in travel search engines like Expedia and Priceline, but also remember to check the actual airline's website too, as here you'll sometimes find special deals that are exclusive to site visitors and that you won't find even in travel search engines. Book your flight online or by phone and check your itinerary the day before your due to head out.

Arrive at the Airport Early
Seeing as to how common this tip is, it's still surprising how many people don't follow through with it. So remember that it's better to be extra early than late. Plan to arrive at the airport at least one hour before your boarding time, and bring a good book to read.

Use Off-Site Airport Parking
If you're driving to the airport, try off-site parking. It's usually cheaper, not too far from the airport itself, and most off-site lots offer free shuttle rides to and from the terminals. Using off-site places to park at LAX lets you save money and avoid the hassle of airport traffic.

Invest in Good Bags
Having your luggage fall apart in the middle of a packed airport terminal never makes for a good time. Spend the money in a set of sturdy bags. And try to pack as much as you can into your carry-on luggage. Duffle bags are great for this. They are spacious and easy to carry.

Ship Your Presents
Instead of lugging all your Christmas presents with you, ship them by mail to your destination. Pay for overnight if you have to; it will still save you money on large packages that you'd have to pay for at the airport. Plus, you avoid the hassle of having to carry all that extra weight and space through an airport. Look out for special shipping deals for the holidays.