Have a Holly Jolly travel season
No matter how hard we try, each and every year brings out the Scrooges of holiday travel. Use these tips to shed the ghosts of Christmas pass and enjoy a merry holiday season—for everyone.
Plan, Plan, Plan…
The less you normally travel, the more time and effort you need to put into planning your trip. No, I’m not talking about jampacking your itinerary so you have no time to relax. Instead, make sure you’re dotting all your I’s and crossing all your T’s.
Once you’ve planned, though? R-E-L-A-X! Anxious travelers are stressed travelers, and stressed travel is going to be hectic no matter how much you’ve planned.
Avoid Peak Travel Times
Pro-Tip: If your holiday plans are flexible at all, consider taking a little extra time off to avoid the days when everyone is traveling. A big bonus is if you can actually travel on Christmas where many airports will be open but very slow.
How are you getting to the airport?
Is your flight booked? It better be. What about your shuttle to the airport? Or, are you parking at the airport? If so, you need to make those plans—like, yesterday. Ask friends for rides, book a hotel close to the airport…whatever. Just don’t leave your initial travel moments unplanned until the last moment.
What about Gifts?!
I’m not saying you should pack your bag today. (If that’s your style, more power to you). What you should pack, however, is your unwrapped presents. Make sure you have room, and make sure they’re all able to get through the airport. If not, ship ahead. Or, be extra savvy and online shop with free shipping to your location.
Double Check TSA/Airline Rules
Haven’t traveled in a while? Don’t assume airlines or the TSA have the same rules they did last year.
Gas up/Charge Up
The last thing you want is a snafu en route. Gas up your car, charge your devices, check your air pressure levels, do it all. Murphy’s law says the worst that can happen is probably gonna happen when you’re at your most stressed. Don’t give it a chance.
Use a Travel Agent
Want to eliminate (almost) all of the stress of planning holiday travel? Use a travel agent. They can’t take care of the crazy extended family you’re going to see, but everything else? They got it.
Carry On Wisely
If the worst is going to happen with wintry travel woes, you’ll want to make sure you have things like medicine, batteries, a change of clothes, toiletries, etc in your carry on rather than packed away if you’re stuck at the airport.
Take Advantage of the Holiday
You know what? See your relatives in the summer! Find a spot that’s usually packed when you want to travel there and book your holiday travel. You’ll have more fun and exhale on a holiday like you haven’t since you were a kid. Thank me later.
Courtesy of Michael Schottey.