Planning to visit your family or travel with your family for the festive season? Traveling over the holidays can be extremely busy, expensive and stressful, but it will be worth it in the end because the holidays are a great opportunity to have wonderful times with your loved ones.
These are our 9 holiday travel tips to help you to find some joy this holiday season:
- Planning Your Travel In Advance
Does your travel involve hotels? How many tickets that you need? What about your pets? Those questions need to be answered early and everything should be booked at least a week before traveling date. Start researching about pro and cons of your decision way before you book anything. Once your plans are set, you can create an itinerary and write down all the things you want to do in your destination.
- Avoid Peak Travel Dates
It’s really important to book holiday flights early as they fill up fast. Whenever possible, plan your travel for less-busy days. Avoid traveling on the busiest travel days of the year. At Easter, Christmas and New Year’s, the peak travel dates change each year depending on which days the holidays fall. You can generally guess which dates will be the most expensive for travel. Use a search engine such as Skyscanner that lets you put in flexible travel dates to show you which date combinations will give you the best deal. You can also choose early morning flight or late night drive (or vice versa) to avoid the traffic at its worst.
- Shop Around
Before you start shopping, write down everyone you plan to buy a gift for and the budget you’re willing to spend for them. Most of the gifts need to be purchased without family members present, but make sure that you know what they want. It’s OK to ask everyone in your family what they want, to get you a better picture of their wishes.
- Mail Your Gifts
It’s not easy to travel with a big luggage. Save yourself a headache and ship your gifts ahead of time when traveling during the holidays. Another great alternative is to purchase online, have it gift wrapped, and shipped directly to your holiday destination.
- Traveling With Kids
If the kids are coming on holiday too, check that your accommodation is child friendly and whether you’ll need to bring anything extra. Don’t forget to carry their favourite books, games, toys and snacks. Carrying backpacks would be the smartest choice for you, as they leave your hands free to carry tired toddlers, hold hands or simply deal with documents without having to put your handbag down unattended.
- Pack Wisely
First, make a list of the important things you need to bring. You may try to pack light, but especially when you have little kids, there are some things you simply do not want to be without like wipes or diapers. Don’t forget to weigh your bags before you get to the airport and make sure you are within the restrictions, otherwise you’ll be forced to pay extra cash at the airport. Save bag space for all your holiday purchases in your destination.
- Leave Early
During peak travel times, much of the trouble you’ll face lies on this side of the security check-in, from traffic jams and full parking lots to absent shuttles and long lines. Rather than striving to “arrive at the airport early,” you may want to try to “leave for the airport early” to anticipate all the peripheral delays you may encounter.
- Check Your IDs
This might seem obvious, but you’d be amazed how many families forget to check their IDs or passports before heading off on holidays. Make sure that the passports’ expiration dates are still long enough to pass the check-in counter. In some countries, children’s passports have shorter validity than adult ones. Which means they’ll expire sooner than your own.
- Relax And Have Fun
Make sure you build some recovery time into your schedule, whether this is when you are at your destination or post-travel. If you do find yourself caught in traffic or in a delay, just take some deep breaths. Remind yourself that holiday travel brings you to places where we’ll share delicious comfort food with people we love. Take a moment to reflect on all you have to grateful for and sit back and enjoy the ride.