Planning holiday travel is an absolute necessity in these times of rising prices, increasing security fears, crowded terminals and even more crowded skies. Some tips on how to make the ordeal more successful and less stressful can help smooth the way.
1. Make your plans as early as possible. If you plan to fly, you’ll be able to choose the best airline seats and most flexible schedules. It will also allow more time to prepare your clothing, buy presents and plan other needs for the holiday trip.
2. Establish a budget for your trip. Consider all anticipated expenses, bring your credit cards and checkbook up to date. As far in advance, buy necessary tickets for flights, rental cars and other transportation services you may need during your holiday trip.
3. Make reservations for anticipated motel and hotel stays during your holiday travel.
4. If you’ll be traveling by car to your holiday destination, be sure it has all of the required repairs and other necessary work done. If you’ll be driving long distances with small children and pets, take several days before you leave to acclimate them to what they’ll experience on the road.
5. Use rolling carry-ons for all of your holiday traveling. They’re much easier to carry than suitcases, and if you fly, you won’t have to inconvenience of paying to check them. Pack only what you need, and if you’ll be traveling more than just a few days, take small toilet items and do your personal laundry each night.
6. Personal security is vital during holiday journey time. Be sure you and all those traveling with you, especially small children, know the rules of personal safety.
7. If you’re taking holiday presents to give to people when you arrive at the host family, it’s best to send the gifts early so they’ll get to their destinations in plenty of time.
8. In spite of all your careful research and preparation, be prepared for delays caused by the inevitable holiday rush, weather, security and other unanticipated happenings. Work out alternative plans, including possible cancellation of holiday traveling and celebrating at home.
9. Despite all of your careful holiday plans, you know Murphy’s Law is sure to kick in somewhere along your travels. They could include delayed flights, tied-up highways and a score of other glitches. For those times you’d rather do something other than wait, take along comfort items on your trip. They could include a laptop computer, cell phone, small radio/cd player, packaged snacks, books or eBooks and other items to help you pass the expected and unexpected hours.
10. Keep a positive outlook throughout the planning of your holiday travels and while on the road or in the air. Remember holidays are about enjoying yourself, and even after waiting two hours in the terminal after midnight for you delayed flight, don’t let it bother you.