There’s nothing like the holiday season to fill us with a spirit of joy and love. The festivities revamp our energy and inspire us to start planning all sorts of activities.
Naturally, travel is at the top of the list for many of us.
With all the chaos from the hectic holiday season, it can be easy to fall into a sea of stress and anxiety when you add in travel plans. Here are some tips to help you keep the peace during the busy holiday season.
Consider Traveling During Off-Dates and Times
You can expect many crowds at the airport during the holiday season. Everyone has somewhere to be, so the backflow can sometimes become too much to handle. The same applies to those that opt to travel on the road — hundreds of cars headed in the same direction call for traffic jams.
This is why you should avoid traveling during peak dates and times. Consider catching an early or late flight, as many would rather not land at their destination after a red-eye flight.
Regarding dates, it would be wise to avoid flying or driving on the last day of school before the holiday break or New Year’s. For years, I have traveled on Christmas Day on an early flight. The experience was much smoother than other times when I traveled a few days before Christmas in the middle of the afternoon.
Be Careful Packing Gifts
I know you may want to beautifully wrap the gifts you plan on giving your loved ones and do this before traveling to save time, but it is best to pack them without embellishments. Unfortunately, the thick wrapping paper can obstruct the view in a luggage scanner during security checks, leaving TSA agents with no choice but to unwrap the gifts.
As an alternative, pack some gift bags and a small tissue paper package to use upon arrival.
Additionally, make sure you keep all these valuable gifts in your carry-on or purse; that way, they are with you at all times and don’t run the risk of getting lost.
The worst thing you can do is leave everything for the last minute.
If you already know you plan on traveling during the holidays, it is best to do things with time. This way, you avoid unnecessary stress and high prices. Demand is high during the holidays, so naturally, prices are much higher.
Book your hotels before all rooms are sold out, and make sure they have free cancellation. Plan your itinerary and make reservations. Look at your destination’s transportation system and determine if you’ll need to rent a car or if you can use public transportation.
Create a list weeks in advance with anything that pops into your head of things you might need. Don’t wait until the last minute to pack, either. Leaving this for a mere few hours before leaves room for you to forget things, with no time for last-minute runs to the store for anything you may have forgotten to buy, and will put a damper on the joy of the season.