Holiday travel tips

November 27, 2019

Traveling during the holidays can be daunting, with the unfortunate possibility of missing a flight at Denver International Airport (DEN) or getting stuck in traffic or forgetting an essential item on your packing list. Fear no more—we have you covered with a handy list of tips to make your travels smooth and enjoyable.

Before you go 

Pack headphones. This accessory may make the biggest difference in your travel experience. Something to remember: Headphone jacks in most planes take original auxiliary cords, which means Bluetooth-connected headphones like Apple AirPods may not work for in-flight movies.

Ship gifts or give gift cards. Traveling light? Save space in your carry-on by mailing your gifts ahead of time or opting for gift cards.

Bring a reusable water bottle. Save money and help the planet by filling your own water bottle at one of DEN’s water-filling stations.

Getting there

Skip traffic. Use your CollegePass or Eco Pass to take the RTD light rail ride to DEN. The University of Colorado A Line departs from Union Station every 15 minutes during the day and every 30 minutes after hours. Students pay a small price for the CollegePass that’s included in tuition and fees, and faculty and staff pay $25 a month for the EcoPass, which can be deducted from their paychecks. Plan ahead by signing up for RTD alerts.


Park at a discounted rate. If you do opt to drive to the airport, CU Denver faculty and staff get 50% off parking at the Canopy lot, 8100 Tower Road, Commerce City. Click here to reserve your spot

At the airport

Anticipate construction. DEN is renovating its main terminal to create an “airport for the future” with enhanced safety and a better user experience. Check before you head to the airport for delays and updates, keep an eye out for new signage, and if you need help, find an employee in a green, orange, or purple badge.

Grab a snack. DEN’s dining game is strong, with fan favorites such as Brother’s BBQ in A Gates, Chik-fil-A in B Gates, and Little Man Ice Cream in C Gates.

Pet a pup. Feeling stressed due to chaotic holiday travel? DEN is home to the largest airport therapy animal program in the country, with more than 100 dogs and one cat. Stop by and say hi!

Photo courtesy Denver International Airport