The busy holiday travel season is here and I’m sure you are more than ready to reconnect with family or escape to that long-awaited vacation destination. While there are always things that happen unexpectedly while traveling, there are ways to help your travels go more smoothly…
Arriving at the airport early is always the way to go. Early flight, vehicle, and hotel bookings mean more available and cheaper options which can also mean more savings and less possibility of having long layovers or less than ideal accommodations.
Being early also means having extra time that may be necessary to find parking, fit in that last bathroom break or diaper change, or to grab a cup of coffee before boarding.
Checking in online for your flight is a great way to start your trip out right by saving time and eliminating the need to wait in long lines at the airport. Options such as TSA Precheck , Global Entry, or CLEAR will also help get you through the security checkpoints at the airport faster but must be arranged in advance of your date of travel.
Having flexible travel dates will also help save money when booking your travel plans, particularly during the holidays.
Once you’ve finalized your travel dates, one more thing you may want to consider doing if you will be celebrating the holidays away from home is where you’ll eat your holiday meal. To avoid the headache of driving from one full restaurant to the next with hungry kids on Thanksgiving Day, find out if your favorite restaurant is open and make a reservation in advance.
If possible, mail your gifts ahead of your departure to save room in you luggage for all the things you will need to enjoy your trip, and mail gifts you received or souvenirs you bought, back home. You don’t want the fruit cake your grandmother made to cost you a fee for overweight luggage and you may not want that white elephant gift you got stuck with at the family gift exchange to take up your feet space on your flight home!
Stay hydrated, eat well, and wash your hands often while traveling to avoid spending your trip feeling under the weather.
Pack an extra pair of clothing in your carry on bag in case of baby mess or delayed or missing luggage. It will buy you some time until your luggage shows up or until you can get to the store when it re-opens after the holiday.
Don’t forget to pack for the weather at your destination! When flying to a different climate, it is most practical to dress in layers. Bring a warm sweater or jacket and a pair of socks to put on before arriving if flying from a warm to cold place, and leave extra space in your carry on for your cold weather gear if flying from cold weather to warmer weather.
Make a list and check it twice to avoid over-packing or forgetting something important. I’m a planner and love making lists and always use the Notes app on my iPhone to make a list of things to pack and then a separate note for a To Do list so I don’t lose my mind trying to remember everything I, my husband, and our two small children may need on our trip.
Most importantly, spread holiday cheer by being patient and kind with others while traveling this holiday season. It can be an especially difficult time of year for some and you never know how big of an impact a kind word or act can have on someone around you.
Be Safe and Happy Travels!