Traveling during Thanksgiving or Christmas can lead to a lot of stress due to arriving late, long airport security queues, or bad storms. Not to mention unforeseen events. You can be sure that there will be crowding and a host of other problems you need to cope with. Visiting family and friends can be downright exhausting and leave you feeling cranky.
Year-end holidays are seen by all as the most wonderful time of the year. However, it’s also the busiest time for travel. Your vacation shouldn’t start once you arrived at your destination, but the entire trip should be a joyful experience from start to finish.
We will mostly focus on air travel, but the tips given apply to road traveling as well.
Following are 6 tips that can help you escape the headaches of holiday travel.
1 – Make Use of Apps
The key to having a relaxing and enjoyable trip is to know beforehand about any unexpected changes. It is pure bliss and eases your mind when you know when your flight is, where your seat is, and when and where you can check-in. This is where the Tripit app will update you on any delays, flight information, or gate changes. Once you allow Tripit access to your travel info, it will do all the work for you so you may focus on other pressing matters.
Just as important is to come prepared by downloading some entertainment to your laptop, e-reader, tablet, or portable DVD player. Familiar shows or video games ensure you feel right at home and reduce traveling stress. Be sure to take your headset, chargers, and backup batteries with you when traveling by road or air.
2 – Arrive Earlier
It may sound like an easy task to achieve to just arrive at the airport, check-in, and get on the plane. But, the reality of it all is that people scramble at the airport. Whether you’re a frequent flier or not, ensure you arrive earlier. Anything can go wrong at any time. Giving yourself the suggested 3-hour leeway will result in a lot less stress and worries.
There are various reasons why holiday travel can be stressful. You may have arrived late at the airport and missed your flight or face a crowded security line that may result in you missing your flight anyway. Such worries can be eliminated if you give yourself enough time. The way to make it happen is to secure an earlier ride to the airport, and if traveling by car, you need to get on the road before rush hour.
3 – Check-in Online the Day Before
If you check-in online the day before your flight, you will save a ton of time once you arrive at the airport. This way you’ll bypass the long lines at the check-in counters. All you need to do is take your luggage to the drop-off counter and head directly to the security lines with your carry on luggage.
4 – Prepare Beforehand for Security to Speed Up Waiting Time
When you go through security, you will face one of the biggest headaches to do with airport travel. There are many rules and regulations to abide by when visiting different airports. One should prepare yourself by keeping a separate tote bag where your liquids and computer are already separated. At least you don’t have to rummage through your carry on luggage to pack out your computer and other essentials before running it through the scanners.
5 – Wait in a Lounge at the Airport
This is the one time where it pays to invest some extra cash into making your time at the airport more enjoyable. Lounges are not just reserved for status members any longer. Anyone can book a lounge these days. One just has to look for a lounge that is not linked to an airline. Consider getting yourself a Priority Pass using your credit card. This way you may obtain access to hundreds of lounges around the world. You can always purchase a day pass if you do not possess a Priority Pass. You can expect to pay anywhere between $25 to $40 and is worth every cent.
Besides, you can get unlimited alcohol, access to a quiet area, charging stations, free internet, and comfortable lounge chairs. One can even freshen up by showering in between flights. While chaos abounds at the airport, you can listen to music or watch TV in a relaxing setting.
6 – Have a Care Package at Hand When Flying
It sure is nice to have everything at hand when you need it most. Before you board the plane, make sure you fill a small tote with anything you may need when flying. It is downright embarrassing and a time drain to go through your carry bag that is tucked away in the overhead compartment just to get hold of an item. Rather have a small tote ready that contains the necessary items.
What comes to mind, would be items like; best earplugs for sleeping, headphones, sleeping mask, moisturizer tube, and a sweater if it gets cold.
Conquering Your Road Trip
For those of you who travel by road, getting an early start to avoid heavy traffic is a very wise decision. Do your best to make your journey fun and enjoyable. One way to achieve this is to get the kids to sing and play games. Make a point of stopping often to allow everyone to stretch their legs while the driver gets an opportunity to refocus. Be sure to bring along plenty of water and snacks.
Before you leave, check your vehicle to ensure it is roadworthy. Check the tire pressure, the fluid for the brakes and battery. Take some blanket along, a first-aid kit, jumper cables, flashlight, and also an ice-scraper.
As you can see, there is no need to endure a stressful time when traveling by road or air to your loved ones. After all, you will likely be carrying gifts heavy luggage while facing crowded airports or wintry roads. Do not forget to carry your best neck pillow as it will prove beneficial for traveling anywhere.
An idea might be to avoid traveling on very busy days. Some folks reported that flying on the actual holiday proved to be the best decision they made as there were far fewer crowds.