Friday, December 21, 2012

10 Survival Tips for Holiday Travel

Holiday travel is a fun an exciting time and can be stress free, either travelling to be with family or getting away for a special Christmas. But, traveling for the holidays can end up being stressful when things go wrong. Holiday travel with difficult companions or when plans go awry can end up in tears–usually yours. Travelling during the holidays can be hectic but these tips will help you survive.

holiday survival guide

1. Use Internet

The easiest way to deal with holiday travel if you are flying is having the foresight to do as much as you can online. You can check in and pick your seats online, and some airlines even allow you to check luggage - or at least get an e-ticket which is faster than standard check in.

2. No Luggage
If you are making a short trip, you can save even more time and hassle by not checking luggage. Pack well and you can fit what you need for a long weekend into a carry on. If you're going home leave toiletries behind – you can cope with using your mom's favorite brand for a couple of days.

3. Arrive Early
Holiday travel means busy, busy, busy – thousands of others are traveling at the same time, all with the same stresses and seasonal worries. To prevent unnecessary panic, worry and stress, get to the airport early so that you can manage any schedule changes.

4. Have a Back-up Plan
Things don't always go according to plan even when you plan really well and allow sufficient time. External factors can easily throw a spanner in the works. If you throw a tantrum when things don't go your way, your trip will end up being very unpleasant. Pre-prepare for times like these, such as when your hotel shuttle hasn't arrived to collect you or the car rental firm has no cars left, have a backup plan ready just in case.

5. Be Prepared
If your holiday travel plans include a road trip, make sure you have checked the car is ready for the undertaking. Check the tires and the oil. If you're heading for a different climate - such as the snow - pack the ice chains and make sure you have some blankets in the trunk just in case.

Holiday travel - putting gas in car

6. Bored Children
Christmas travel with small children is always a challenge. Bored, tired and hungry kids out of their routine can become very stressful very quickly. Plan ahead, pack toys, some snacks and plenty of fluids so that if you have a long wait at an airport or a long drive, you won't panic when you can't find things that your kids may need.

7. Pet Care
If you have pets make sure that you have arranged well in advance for somebody to take good care of your animals. Everyone will be looking for house and pet sitters at this time of year so you don't want to be caught out with no-one left available. There are professional kennels and catteries where you can place your animals that will take good care of them.

8. Gift Clever
One thing that takes up room when you travel for the holidays and not going by car is the presents you have to take. There's no perfect answer but one solution is to buy your gifts online and have them delivered to your destination – especially if you are going to family. You can then wrap them when you get there.

9. Be Comfortable
Travel is all about comfort, whether you'll be in a car for six hours or sitting on a plane. Think leggings and long sweaters, layers to help with the changing temperatures in-flight, shoes you can easily slip on and off and comfort items like ear plugs and eye masks for long flights.

holiday travel with family

10. Be Patient
With so many people holiday traveling, there are bound to be delays and other frustrating issues that arise. For this, you need to practice patience. If someone's kids are screaming merry hell, everyone can hear it. Don't take it out on customer service staff who will be fraught and overworked at this time of year. Take a deep breath, count to 10, get some fresh air and then work on finding a solution. The calmer you are in any travel situation, the smoother things will go.

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