We’re still eating turkey leftovers and it’s already time to start thinking about holiday travel again. Geesh. I’m fortunate that both my family and my husband’s family live within 45 minutes of our house, but I know that a lot of other families will be standing in security lines and hopping on airplanes very soon. Fortunately, Julia Dimon of Travel Junkie put together the tips below for surviving holiday travel on behalf of DoubleTree by Hilton. Take a look.
1. Give Yourself Enough Time: This rule applies whether talking about getting to the airport or making connecting flights. During the holidays, it’s always a good idea to consider the amount of time you need to navigate the airport, and then double that figure, particularly when traveling with small children.
2. Book a Direct Flight: It’s probably too late to get a good price on an airline ticket, but if you still need to book a flight, try to book direct flights if you can. With Winter Storm Cleon already bearing down on the Midwest, who knows what Mother Nature has in store for us later this month. No one wants to miss a connecting flight due to weather, particularly with very full flights, making it hard to get re-booked.
3. Ship Your Holiday Gifts Ahead of Time: To avoid any delays in the security line or baggage fees related to bags that exceed the weight limit, just ship your gifts before you travel. It’s probably a lot cheaper to do so (most online retailers are offering free shipping deals this time of year) and it’s a lot less hassle than having to manage travel with your luggage and gifts too.
4. Pack a Survival Kit: Since I have four kids, I can’t agree with this advice more. Our survival kit always includes snacks (lots of snacks), portable chargers, coloring books, games, etc. Julia also suggests noise-cancelling headphones. These sound like a great idea to help you find your happy place when you get hit by flight delays and cranky kids.
5. Embrace the Zen: Holiday travel can be tricky, but above all, embrace the Zen. Relax and try to go with the flow when faced with missed connections, flight delays, irritable travelers and security lines. I have a white noise app on my iPhone that goes a long way toward helping me embrace my own Zen. I could listen to sounds of ocean waves for hours. Now that’s my kind of relaxation.
Julia also suggests splurging for the airport lounge if you can for more comfortable seating and a more relaxed atmosphere. That may be expensive with a family, but I can see how nice it would be to get away from the hustle and bustle of the crowded airport, if only for an hour or so.
Do you have any other tips for surviving holiday travel? Let me know in the comments section below.
Photo Credit: Carissa Rogers