If you’re gearing up to hit the road this holiday season, you aren’t the only one! Whether you’re traveling by car, rail, or plane, getting from one place to the next during the busiest time of year can be a bit of a headache, so it’s wise to plan ahead and do everything in your power to prep for your trip.
Not sure if you can handle the crowds and make your holiday travel happen? Here are a few tips to help you survive traveling during the holiday season:
Give Yourself Extra Time
Nobody likes hanging out in the airport for an hour before their flight actually leaves, but is that really worse than missing your flight altogether? From overflowing parking lots to transit delays and security lines that wrap around the entire terminal, you’ll never know what you’re walking into when you’re traveling during the holidays, so give yourself as much time as possible to correct for any hiccups in your plans. However, there are ways to get through the airport quickly and easily if you’re running late on time.
Keep The Kids Happy
It’s going to be hard to relax when the kids are complaining about boredom, or you’re getting looks from the folks sitting in front of you on the plane. Don’t leave your kids to their own devices during the busy holiday travel season. Instead, come prepared with things to keep them entertained. You know what keeps your child occupied the longest, so put some thought into it and pull together a small bag of treats and distractions before you hit the road. If you need some advice on the matter, check out our post on essential tips for traveling with kids.
Many people tend to overpack when traveling, and this is especially true during the holidays. While it might sound nice to have all of your stuff with you in case you decide you’d like to wear a specific outfit, hauling all of that around is a headache. Whether you choose to drive or fly, you’ll have an easier time with a smaller piece of luggage and there are many ways to avoid overpacking. If you’re hauling presents along for the family, consider shipping these to your destination in advance – especially if you’re flying.
Have a Backup Plan
Getting caught in a traffic jam or dealing with a canceled flight around the holidays can be rough, especially when the delay is so severe you’re forced to change your plans. Telling the family you can’t actually go on your trip due to some logistical issue is never fun, but you can make it easier by knowing your alternative in case something does go wrong.
Travel On The Actual Holiday
Whether you’re looking to visit family for Christmas, Thanksgiving, or the Fourth of July, you’ll hear horror stories about traveling in the days immediately before or after the holiday. After all, those days are some of the most high-volume travel days for our skies and our roads. If you can actually travel on holiday and don’t mind spending part of your day in transit, you’ll save yourself a lot of stress.
When faced with a busy travel season, your technology can help more than you think to make your experience as pleasant as possible. Want to beat traffic or find the best price on your flight? There’s an app for that. Not sure where to find the lowest gas prices before you fill up for your road trip? There’s an app. Need a packing list, gift recommendations, or the perfect playlist for the family? Download an app! Put some thought into the tools you’ll need while traveling before you go and load up your devices with anything that might be helpful. There are literally hundreds of travel apps and we’ve shared our favorite five.
What headaches have you encountered during your holiday travel? Got any tips to make things easier for the rest of us? Leave a comment and let me know!