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20 Quick Tips to Ease Holiday Travel Headaches

December 14, 2010

Over the river and through the woods… Holiday travel is exciting, spirited, emotional, and adventurous, but it can also be hectic, stressful and downright nerve-racking. Here are 20 quick tips to ease your holiday travel headaches and ensure a smooth trip to Grandma’s or wherever you may be heading.

Air Travel:

1)      Check in for flights online within 24 hours of departure. Print boarding passes if you are able.

2)      Reconfirm your flights before you leave for the airport.

3)      Pack light and carry-on luggage to be more nimble in the case of a last second change, cancellation or opportunity. Consider shipping presents instead of checking a bag.

4)      Be TSA security ready. Have boarding pass and ID in hand, remove your laptop from the case, have liquids in a quart-size Ziploc bag.

5)      Have patience with the security lines. Allow plenty of time so you aren’t stressed about making your flight.

6)      Wear shoes that are easy to slip off and on. Laces slow you down.

7)      Do not wrap gifts that you are carrying through security.

8)      Pack healthy snacks to save yourself the expense of less-than-gourmet airport/airline food. Take an empty water bottle that you can fill once through security.

9)      Stay hydrated to avoid fatigue and limit alcohol and caffeine to stay hydrated.

10)   Keep a good attitude. Don’t let the crowds, a weather delay, an overbooked flight, or lost luggage ruin your holiday. Don’t lose your cool. Be polite to the airline personnel and remember they are working this holiday so you can get where you are going.

11)   Travel insurance is a lifesaver in the event of the previously mentioned misadventures. If the financial ramifications of potential travel problems would put you in the poorhouse or just plain insult you, protect your trip investment with travel insurance.


photo courtesy of Hertz Rent a Car

Road Travel:

1)      Perform basic vehicle maintenance checks: tire inflation, fluid levels, lights and bulbs operation, oil change.

2)      Consider renting if your vehicle is not the right size or in shape to make the trip.

3)      Pack emergency supplies like blankets, a first aid kit, flares or reflectors and a fully charged cell phone.

4)      Check the weather and road construction along your route and allow plenty of time for travel. Building in extra time makes you feel less rushed and reduces the stress of minor delays.

5)      Pack car snacks. Chips in a can don’t get smushed, cheese sticks and finger fruit is a good healthy snack, and trail mix of m&ms, peanuts and raisins is always a hit. Don’t forget the wet wipes.

6)      Stop and stretch or walk every two to three hours of driving to help blood circulation and relieve tension.

7)      Wiggle a little inside the car so you don’t get stiff. Change your posture often, do neck and shoulder rolls, ab contractions, knee squeezes, or press your palms to the car ceiling.

8)      Keep the kids entertained with travel games, books, word and Sudoku puzzles, and of course good old sing alongs and the license plate game.

9)      Limit pet’s food and water several hours before the trip, but be sure to give them a little water every stop. Have the leash easily accessible and let them walk every time you do. Pack plastic bags and clean up after your dog at rest stops.

May your holiday travels be safe and uneventful!

One Comment leave one →
  1. December 27, 2010 1:32 am

    Great travel tips.

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