Since many people take time o to visit family and friends in other places, the holidays are the busiest time of year to travel. According to a survey from the American Automobile Association (AAA), more than 99 million Americans travel between the days leading up to Christmas and New Years.1 It’s also one of the most stressful times to travel, with people reporting it was as taxing as moving.2 Take the stress out
of holiday travel with these tips.
If You’re Flying
Do Your Research. No matter the length of your trip, it helps to do your research. Choose flexible travel dates to help you pinpoint the best deal. Also, consider ying into an alternate airport nearby that may not be as busy.
Plan Carefully. Because holidays fall in the winter season, your chances of flight delays due to inclement weather are increased. Avoid the short period layovers, this allows more time if a flight is in fact delayed. If possible, chose connections in warmer cities.
Pack Light. More and more airlines are now charging for checked bags. You can save money and time by packing light and taking a carry on. If you are bringing gifts, either send them prior to your departure, or pack them without wrapping them to save space.
Stay Up-to-date On Flight Changes. Download your airline’s app to get alerts about gate changes and delays.
If You’re Driving
Get Your Car Ready. Have your car checked for any issues that might come to light while traveling.
Plan Your Route Ahead Of Time. Knowing the route you plan to take before you start to take it will be beneficial in getting to your destination on time.
Keep Roadside Assistance Information On Hand. Having this information readily available will help you think clearly and act quickly in the event of car issues.
Store A Cell Phone Charger In Your Car.
This is especially important if you are using your cell phone for directions. You wouldn’t want it to die in the middle of driving and not know where you are or where to go.
Pack A Winter Safety Kit.
If you’re traveling through a snowy area, it is important you and your family are prepared for the worse. Having a winter kit allows you to be ready if anything happens during your trip. This kit should include: an ice scraper, a small snow shovel, tire chains, tow rope, jumper cables, a blanket, flashlights, a first-aid kit and a portable radio.
Traveling With Children
Take your time. Give yourself lots of time—whether you’re flying or driving—to check in, to get through security, at rest stops, etc., especially if you’re traveling with young children.
Pack Small Toys. When your child gets fussy or bored, give them a toy to play with.
Pack A Change Of Clothing (or several if you’re traveling with a baby) in case of spills or accidents.
Have a small bag with only diaper-changing items to take with you into the restroom.
Remind your children not to talk to strangers. Keep an eye on them, or take them with you to the restroom.
Stay Healthy While You Travel
In addition to being the holiday season, it’s also cold and u season. Traveling in close proximity to others may increase your chances of getting sick during your vacation. Keep germs and viruses at bay with these tips:
Stay Hydrated. Bring an empty water bottle and fill it at a water fountain once you pass through security, or purchase water from a vendor in the secured area. Since the pressurized cabin of the airplane tends to dry the eyes and nasal passages, increase your water intake to keep germs away. Water may also help prevent blood clots.
Bring Your Own Blanket And Pillow. While some airlines still provide these amenities, most do not. Plus, carrying a small, foldable blanket and a neck pillow will reduce the number of germs you’re exposed to.
Bring Healthy Snacks, including nuts, dried fruit and other easily portable food items.
Move around to avoid blood clots. Blood clots are a major concern when flying, especially if you are flying cross-country or overseas. Get up and walk around the cabin, if possible. While seated, tap your feet or do seated calf raises to improve blood circulation.
Traveling With Pets
Make Sure Your Pet Has Identification. While most pets have a microchip, it’s helpful if your pet also wears a collar with a tag. On the carrier, clearly write “Live Animal,” your full name and a cell phone number, as well as attach a current photo of your pet.
Get Your Pet Up-to-date On Its Vaccinations. If traveling to another country or Hawaii, look up vaccination requirements for animals before you book.
Secure The Animal Properly in The Car by placing it in a carrier or securing it with special seat belts that connect to its harness. Practice the routine of riding around in the car ahead of time to make sure your pet is comfortable.
If You’re Traveling By Air And Crating Your Pet, ensure it has room to move and stand. Help your pet feel at ease by including a favorite toy or blanket that smells like home. Also, provide bedding or paper in the crate in case of an accident. Keep the door closed, but not locked, in case of emergency. It’s possible airline employees may feed your pet if there’s a layover, so transport a bag of food to be safe.
Take A Direct Flight to reduce stress on the animal.
If You’re Traveling By Car, Stop Frequently so your pet can eat and relieve itself. Throw a ball or take a walk to give it some exercise as well.