With the holidays fast approaching, I thought it would be a good idea to share some Stress-Free Holiday Travel Advice:
- Fly Early or Drive Late: The first flight of the day is often the most affordable and, of course, flying early means there’s less of a chance that your flight (and any connecting flights) will be delayed. But if you’re driving to your holiday destination, it may be best to try the opposite approach and hit the road after dark, when the roads are almost always emptier. Bring blankets and pillows for the kids and a movie to watch and they can sleep/rest during the trip.
- Travel on Christmas Eve: Budget Travel editors swear by imitating St. Nicholas’s approach: Travel on Christmas Eve night. For real. A red-eye from Seattle for NYC on Christmas Eve, for instance, is a surprisingly peaceful, drama-free way to get home for the holidays.
- Mail your Holiday Gifts Ahead of Time: Wrap your presents (and bulky winter coats too, if you want) and ship them to your destination ahead of time to save time and money on the whole checked-bag experience. And be sure to pack an empty expandable bag, too, so if you end up acquiring a multitude of items while you’re away from home and you don’t get a chance to mail them home, you’ll got something to haul them around in.
- These Apps Make Flying Easier: When you’re flying at one of the busiest times of the year, such as the last two weeks of December, “know before you go” becomes an urgent necessity. Before you head to the airport, be sure you have downloaded some essential apps, suggests Wendy Perrin, the editor of WendyPerrin.com and travel advocate at TripAdvisor. Get the MyTSA app, which will keep you updated on your airport’s security lines and wait times. And download your airlines’ app, so you have up-to-the-minute info on delays and cancellations at your airport and any connecting airports.
- Book Ground Transportation in Advance: During the busy holiday travel season, book your ground transportation in advance instead of relying on the kindness of on-demand apps or taxis to get you from the airport to your destination.
- Pack Your Patience and Sense of Adventure: Unexpected delays, traffic delays, weather delays can leave us frustrated and unhappy. Pack your sense of adventure and make the most of unexpected delays. Your blood pressure will thank you.
Most of all this Holiday season, pack your attitude of gratitude. Remember all that you have to be thankful for and enjoy the spirit of the season. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!