Planes, trains and automobiles, actually any form of transportation during the holiday season can be a real pain in the neck, back, head…. Check out our top travel tips for the holiday season and save yourself some trouble.
So, it’s holiday season, you have your tickets, or you don’t, but you know your grandma is waiting for you and made your favorite cookies. Travelling during high peak times can be exhausting and stressful, but the following tips might make it a little easier to stomach.
- Know Your Airports, Train Stations and Driving Routes: Chances are your flight has a connection at a major airport and your next flight is only an hour later. Make sure to know the airports you will be travelling through, long security lines and confusing terminal signs can be a nightmare when trying to catch a flight. Map your route mentally so that you can maximize your time. If you are driving, make sure you have optional routes for getting to your destination, being stuck in traffic is only fun for so long.
- Pack Wisely: Make sure you bring what you need, but not much more or less. If you know you will be carrying a bag full of gifts you received back home with you, make sure to pack an extra bag! Don’t by your dad that lead paper weight if you know your airline has strict weight limitations. And if you are travelling by train or bus, remember you are going to have to lug those heavy bags around.
- Dress Comfortably: This tip is applicable to all types of travel, wearing those pleather pants you got from your secret Santa/ work colleague stalker is probably not the best idea if you are not sure about how long you will be stuck away from a change of clothes. Wear “breathable” clothes, like cotton instead of synthetics, and you’ll thank yourself later for having worn elastic or loose waistbands.
- Carry- On Some Essentials: Always have an extra pair of socks and underwear in your carry-on bag. nothing worse than being stuck in the same “intimates” for days. You want to make sure you are fresh under all circumstances, deodorant, travel toothpaste and toothbrushes are a good idea, as are wet wipes.
- Plan Alternatives Just in Case: Stranded in your layover city over night, know what you can do there in worst case scenario, airport hotels are not the best place to spend New Year’s Eve. Make sure you have something to see or do in case you are stuck.
- Be Extra Friendly to Fellow Travelers and Travel Staff: You should always be friendly, that’s a given, but fellow travelers and travel staff can be a great help in an unexpected situation. Picture this, you are starving, your all the food shops in the airport are closed, and the lady with the Santa sweater has a bag full of cookies, now don’t you wish you had been nicer to her when she tried to cut the line? Also, being nice to airport staff might get you squeezed in on the next overbooked flight, a little bit of nice can get you a long way.
- Bring Some Entertainment: Counting tiles and making up stories about the people in the line before and after you will only keep you happy for a while, make sure you have something you can do while grounded. What to bring, we gotta say, keep it analogue! A good book, a pen and a paper. And on the digital side, some music and if you must your mobile device and computer, just make sure you have your chargers just in case.
- Pack a Light Snack: Hunger pangs are the worst, and overpriced airport and train station food is not where you want to spend your holiday cash. Make sure you have something small, light and fulfilling, think granola bars and energy snacks. We would recommend bringing liquids, but we know how airport security feels about that. But better to have to by just a 5 dollar water than a 15 dollar nasty snack.
- Bring a Credit Card: This one should be clear, but sometimes common sense is not that common. So, make sure you have the security of a credit card in case you need to book a last minute flight, hotel room or mechanic.
- Bring a Sense of Humor and a Deck of Cards: Although last on the list, this is probably one of the most important things to bring with you on your Holiday travels. What’s the sense in getting angry, frustrated an grumpy? Take things with a grain of salt as they come and try to enjoy your trip. Also, a deck of cards offers endless entertainment and is a great conversation starter and friend maker!
Any tips we missed? Leave them in the comments.
Happy and safe travels to all!