So you decided to travel for the holidays? I hope your prepared!
Surviving the Holidays can be a tough thing. Traveling on top of that can make it even harder. But if your prepared, it can make it go a lot smoother. If your planning on visiting family or taking a vacation this holiday season, here are some tips to keep your sanity!
1. Plan Ahead and Do Your Research!
When it comes to flying, you will want to pick your flights carefully. So making reservations well in advance will help. Try to choose connecting airports that would have better weather. For example, when I fly California to Florida in winter, I always select southern stops like Texas. Also, make sure to choose your seats when you buy your ticket if the airline's policy allows. And, this is a time when spending a little bit extra to have pre-assigned seating is worth the investment.
2. Pack Light, Pack Light, Pack Light!
You guys already know how I feel about packing light, but over the holidays, it becomes even more critical. The less you have to worry about schlepping through the crowded airports, the better. Plus, you can save vast amounts of time, money, and stress by fitting your things into an easy-to-maneuver carry-on bag. If you do check luggage, be sure to keep the essentials like medications and other important items or documents with you - just in case!
3. Don't get "Hangry."
When your tummy is growling, your mind can't think straight, and you could unknowingly get in the wrong line, take a wrong turn, or annoy an innocent flight attendant! Pack some healthy snacks so you and your family will not have to rely on the kindness of strangers if you end up sitting on the tarmac for hours. You will thank me later!
4. Ship gifts ahead or give gift cards this year
TSA always suggests to ship wrapped gifts to your destination, or wait until you reach your destination to gift wrap them. They will have to unwrap and inspect any gift that they can't identify in your carry-on luggage. You could also choose to do your holiday gift-buying once you reach your location. Visiting family? Go shopping once you get there. That way, you don't have to have to struggle with a heavy suitcase full of gifts through the airport if you are forced to run to make a tight connection
5. Plan ahead and leave plenty of extra time
Leave home for the airport at least an extra hour ahead of time to allow for traffic, parking, check-in, and security delays. And, when booking your flights, try to avoid any super tight connections. If you only have 45 minutes between flights in an airport, you could be in big trouble if your first flight is delayed a little. It's much less stressful to find a nice bar or coffee shop in the airport to kill some extra time.
6. Inhale and Exhale!
The chatty neighbor on the airplane who takes up your armrest, the cancelled and delayed flights and the luggage that disappeared between airports will all make for great stories over dinner when you finally make it to your destination and are surrounded by your loved ones. Just breathe, keep your sense of humor and try to let the frustration go....
Holiday travel is just as much of a tradition to many as pumpkin pie, ugly Christmas sweaters and re-gifting...so use these tips to avoid your own Frosty the Snowman-sized meltdown!
Deep breaths and Happy Holidays to everyone!
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