Many people do have the added challenge of having to travel long distances to see their families for their holiday celebrations. Airports are jam-packed this time of year, and even the roads are busy. Sometimes families travel with their kids as well, which in itself is another challenge amidst the hustle and bustle of airports.
A little pre-planning prior to your day of departure can help to smooth out those elements you can control so that those things that you can’t control won’t seem quite so ominous! Here are a few tips that may get you through the worst part of the holidays when traveling by plane or car to get to the best part of the holidays … spending time with friends and family.
- Take advantage of airlines that offer online check in (generally 24 hours prior to departure) to ensure your seats are assigned. Checking in ahead of time will also give you a chance to better view the available seats to accommodate your need with kids.
- Less is more – don’t over-pack! Pack lightly, only bringing what you need and leave room for those ‘extras’ that you’ll be bringing home! Know that everyone is going to have carry-on bags. Overhead bins are full at the best of times, so try to select a seat where you will be among first to board the aircraft, giving you more overhead bin choices!
- Check your local airports’ web site — they offer lots of great information on flight delays or cancellations. Think about the weather in your destination as well, as it could affect your flight or even your drive.
- Have phone numbers for everything in a handy location — your hotel, your car rental agency, your airline, friends at your destination. It’s easier to reach for the number than trying to look it up while you are being jostled around.
- Make sure that your mobile phone is fully charged! Don’t forget your charger.
- If you’re flying, due to security requirements, do not wrap up your gifts ahead of time — remember to have some wrapping paper and tape available once you get to where you’re going! Better yet, if you have time, shop once you get there!
- If you need to travel with a passport, take a copy of your passport and scan it on your smart phone – that way if you lose it for some reason, you’ll have a copy of the required information.
- Whether you’re traveling by car, train or plane, leave early and give yourself lots of time. You can assume that the roads, airports and train stations are going to be busy — leave early and cut down on your stress
- Bring a book and some great holiday music to listen to.
- If you’re traveling with kids, bring your tablet so they can watch movies. Books for reading or activities are also a great idea … keep them busy – oh, and don’t forget to bring some of their favorite snacks!
- Make sure that kids know their parents’ names, phone numbers, and what to do in the event that they get lost.
So many things to remember this time of year—but most of all, remember to stay calm and enjoy your time with family and friends. Happy Holidays & Merry Christmas!