10 Tips to Make Holiday Travel Easier

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The holidays are a very busy time of year. Holiday decorating. Christmas shopping. Baking cookies. Parties and family get-togethers. And on top of that, you may need to travel for the holidays in order to spend time with your loved ones or perhaps get away for a much-needed vacation.

Of course, travel during this time of year can be stressful. With lots of people trying to make their way back home, you can find that all modes of transportation are busy and crowded. If you want to make your holiday travels as stress-free as possible, then follow these tips.

  • Do Your Research: When it comes to any travel – even a trip back home – you need to do your research. While air travel may be the fastest way to get where you’re going, there are other modes of transportation that might work. Trains, buses, or even a good, ol’ road trip may be options. Take some time to check what works with your schedule and meets your needs.
  • Watch the Fares: If you’ll be traveling by plane, train, or bus, be sure to keep an eye on the fares. Holiday travel can be expensive as transportation providers realize they have a captive audience who want to get home to see family. 
    • But lots of apps allow you to set up alerts which can let you know if a price drops (or increases). Use your favorite app to keep an eye on your destination.
  • Avoid Peak Travel Days and Times: If you have some flexibility in your schedule, then try to avoid peak travel days and times. You can often find cheaper fares if you’re not trying to travel on a specific date.
  • Try to Carry-On: With an increased number of travelers at this time of year, if you’re traveling by plane, you may want to carry-on only. If you can pack only the essentials and put it all in a carry-on, you can avoid busy luggage carousels or the chance for the airline to misplace your luggage in transit.
  • Mail Your Presents Ahead of Time: If you’ll be traveling by plane, train, or bus, you may want to ship your gifts ahead of time. This means you won’t have to worry about presents being lost or stolen, or paying extra fees at the airport. 
  • Allow for Extra Time: Always allow for extra time – no matter how you’re traveling to your destination. Check-in lines may be long. Highways may be crowded. You may experience unexpected delays. Allotting extra time in your schedule can save you from experiencing a travel meltdown.
  • Be Prepared at Security: If you’ll be passing through airport security, be prepared for longer lines. To help things go smoothly, make sure you have any items out for inspection that are required. Additionally, you may look to obtain a “Known Traveler Number” (KTN) which pre-screens you for security. You can use your KTN at select airports and go through designated lines for people with this security clearance.
  • Pack Some Snacks: Don’t leave home without snacks. While you can buy them on your way, you’ll save money and time if you’ve already packed your own. 
  • Bring Your Own Entertainment: No matter how you’re traveling, download some entertainment. Lots of streaming services now allow you to download movies and television shows which will help you pass the time. 
  • Be Nice: And last, but not least, be nice to those you meet. Whether it be an airline employee or a fellow traveler, being nice can make a stressful travel situation just a little bit better.

Don’t let holiday travel stress you out this year. Plan ahead and use these tips to make your travels smooth and easy. They’ll definitely help to make your holidays a little happier.

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