Holiday travel can sound exciting – either travelling to be with family or getting away for a special Christmas. But, traveling for the holidays can end up being stressful when things go wrong. Holiday travel with difficult companions or when plans go awry can end up in tears – usually yours. Here are 10 Survival Tips for Holiday Travel.
1. Be Internet Savvy
The easiest way to deal with holiday travel if you are flying is having the foresight to do as much as you can online. You can check in and pick your seats online, and some airlines even allow you to check luggage – or at least get an e-ticket which is faster than standard check in.
2. No Luggage
If you are making a short trip, you can save even more time and hassle by not checking luggage. Pack well and you can fit what you need for a long weekend into a carry on. If you’re going home leave toiletries behind – you can cope with using your mom’s favorite brand for a couple of days.
3. Get to the Airport Early
Holiday travel means busy, busy, busy - thousands of others are traveling at the same time, all with the same stresses and seasonal worries. To prevent unnecessary panic, worry and stress, get to the airport early so that you can manage any schedule changes.
4. Have a Back up Plan
Things don’t always go according to plan even when you plan really well and allow sufficient time. External factors can easily throw a spanner in the works. If you throw a tantrum when things don’t go your way, your trip will end up being very unpleasant. Pre-prepare for times like these, such as when your hotel shuttle hasn’t arrived to collect you or the car rental firm has no cars left; have a backup plan ready just in case.
5. Bored Children
Christmas travel with small children is always a challenge. Bored, tired and hungry kids out of their routine can become very stressful very quickly. Plan ahead, pack toys, low GI snacks and plenty of fluids so that if you have a long wait at an airport or a long drive, you won’t panic when you can’t find things that your kids may need.
6. Be Prepared
If your holiday travel plans include a road trip, make sure you have checked the car is ready for the undertaking. Check the tires and the oil. If you’re heading for a different climate – such as the snow – pack the ice chains and make sure you have some blankets in the trunk just in case.
7. Pet Care
If you have pets make sure that you have arranged well in advance for somebody to take good care of your animals. Everyone will be looking for house and pet sitters at this time of year so you don’t want to be caught out with no-one left available. There are professional kennels and catteries where you can place your animals that will take good care of them.
8. Gift Clever
One thing that takes up room when you travel for the holidays and not going by car is the presents you have to take. There’s no perfect answer but one solution is to buy your gifts online and have them delivered to your destination – especially if you are going to family. You can then wrap them when you get there. (Of course, arrange it with your family member first).
9. Be Comfortable
This goes for traveling at any time and not just for holiday travel. Don’t wear your brand new shoes, or tight clothes. If plans don’t go, well, to plan, if your feet hurt, your new bra pinches and your flimsy top is all creased, it all just adds to the frustration.
10. Be Patient
Look around you – everyone is in the same boat. You all want to get to wherever you are going in the fastest time and with the least hassle. If your train is delayed or your flight cancelled, your fellow passengers feel it too. If someone’s kids are screaming merry hell, everyone can hear it. Don’t take it out on customer service staff who will be fraught and overworked at this time of year. Take a deep breath and count to 10. It’s just a temporary hitch! It will all get sorted and it will all be forgotten when you’re drinking egg nog in the bosom of your family and friends.
Holiday travel is a fun an exciting time and can be stress free if you just take the time to plan a bit beforehand. Which one of these 10 Survival tips for holiday travel will you use?
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