Holiday Season: To Travel or Not Travel...
There is a lot going on the in world today and there are recommendation everywhere for whether or not your should travel and if you do, what you are suppose to do. Travelling during the Holiday Season for some people is the best time of year and it bring them back to see family or friends.
To ensure that you don't Melt like Snow in the heat of it all - Here are Top Tips for Travel
1. Do you research
If you are traveling via airline - make sure to check your specific airlines restrictions regarding checked and carry-on luggage and personal items. Knowing the fees, sizes, and any limitation will help avoid stress at the airport or overpaying for heavy luggage.
If you plan to drive - plan our your route, then plan an alternative route! Traffic can sometimes be overwhelming and unpredictable, so having alternative routes for your trip is important. It might mean you drive a few more miles, it takes more time, or you have to take a back road - but it give you the option to choose if you run into some problems. And, who knows what you might see or find on your alternative route.
2. Stay Connected
In an age where we can be connected to all things at all times, it is important to be connected while travelling. This will have you find alternative drive routes, know how long security times will be at the airport, or lowest gas prices along the route.
3. Pack Light
Who has heard of a nightmare story of luggage being lost during a flight and you can't get the back for 3-5 (or more) days because it ended up on a completely different flight? I think most of us. If you can pack light and avoid having to check a bag, it will help eliminate lost luggage and further stress. It also means you don't have to wait for luggage on the conveyor belts, worry about them being tossed around, or losing your mom's special Christmas present. If you do have to check a bag, make sure you have all your essential items (medications, important documents, and a change of clothes).
4. Don't Get Hangry
Most of us have see the commercials where they tell their friend to eat a snickers because they aren't acting like themselves. Not eating or letting yourself get hungry means your mind can't concentrate as easily and you may be more irritable than normal. Having snacks or small meals to keep your stomach satisfied is important for your overall stress level as well. The last thing we would want to see is you get in the wrong line, take a wrong turn, or get upset at an innocent worker or kid.
5. Ship Gifts
This goes along with packing light - if you have to check your presents in a luggage bag, it's a possibility that they will get lost or misplaced. Shipping gifts a head of time means you ensure they arrive on time and you don't have to worry about having to unwrap and wrap them back up because TSA needed to inspect it. Also, if you are travelling via car, the extra space the gifts are taking up can be used for other items to keep you busy or kids distracted while your drive. We also enjoy a little extra space while traveling.
6. Be Open to your travel days and times
If you can plan your schedule to traveling off-peak days or during lighter travel times ( early morning or late night), that the opportunity to spend the extra day or leave later than normal. Most airline companies provide a flexible travel schedule to show you different costs of flights for traveling on off-peak days versus others. They can generally provide you information about how packed the airport may be during that time as well. If driving, it may be better to leave when others are likely sleeping and take a nap once you arrive to your destination. If you can't leave early or late and rearrange times - give yourself extra time for traffic, delays, and bathroom breaks. Leaving yourself plenty of time versus feeling rushed can help with your stress levels as well.
7. Plan for the Unexpected
Planning for the unexpected can be a challenge, but think about the things that could go wrong and have some ideas on how you would deal with them. Flight is delayed due to ice/snow, tire goes flat while driving, kids/spouse is having trouble traveling or get car sick for the first time. Plan for extra time whenever possible, have routes planned and emergency supplies available (flashlight, torque for changing tires, and bandages never hurt to have on hand).
8. Just Breathe
Remember above all - it's the Holidays and our time is meant to be spent with family. If that means its more time in the car or airport, take advantage of that time together and make the best memories possible. The things that happen often turn into the funny stories over dinner or the things you talk about for years to come. Besides isn't travel stress and unplanned adventure just as much a part of the holidays as presents and pie?