Holiday Travel Tips

Holiday Travel Tips

Holiday travel can be, well, a bit stressful.  Long lines, attitudes, delayed flights – you get the picture.  It’s also a time of joy, kindness, and hope.  The best of humanity can be seen in the midst of holiday stress.

In a nutshell: Whether you’re traveling to be with family or a beach destination … Plan ahead, be prepared and bring a checklist to help you navigate through holiday travel.  Dasher and Dancer aren’t available…..

Pre-travel day:  Take time to plan ahead

  • Send a copy of your airline confirmation to your smartphone.
  • Reconfirm your flights.
  • Be sure to have a back-up plan in case your flight is canceled. Look over alternate flights, take them with you and list 1st, 2nd, 3rd choice.
  • Bring important phone numbers: airline, ground transfers, resort/hotel, car rental, etc.
  • Prepare snacks to take with you.  Energy bars, nuts, a sandwich. Your tummy will be happy…and so will your mood.
  • Bring an empty water bottle – and fill at water stations after security.

Pack Light
Lighten up and consider shipping your gifts and maybe some of your heavier clothing.  If you pack right you can get everything in your carry on and then you don’t have the stress of wondering if your checked bag made the connection and you’ll avoid those checked bag fees, too.

What about those gifts?
You can wrap your gifts, but remember TSA may inspect them so leave unwrapped and make them beautiful when you arrive at your final destination.  Reduce stress even more as gift cards make great gifts too.

Be Tech Savvy

Stay connected to the apps that will help you navigate your way.

  • FlightAware
  • TSA app – here you can check on delays, weather, how busy the airport is, what you can carry on, and more.
  • Your Airline’s app: American, Delta, Southwest
  • Check out the TripIt Pro phone app: It’s $49 annually and TripIt Pro quickly locates alternate flights (and other great benefits).
  • Mindfulness app – Inscape. When you need a few minutes to relax and clear your mind….meditate! Don’t forget your earphones.

Travel Day – Hip hip, hooray!

  • Get to the airport early.  Leave earlier than usual to stay ahead of traffic, delays, parking challenges, etc.
  • Find out where your plane is. Go to FlightAware and find out if your plane is on schedule.
    • If your flight is canceled – call the airline and do it quickly, then:
      • Speak calmly & smile – screaming won’t help (agents deal with delayed or canceled flights all the time)
      • Be firm – know what you want (they need a good reason not to give it to you)
      • Think about your luggage – if you checked bags, head to the baggage area (but, be on the phone at the same time)
      • This is also a good time to take out your 1st, 2nd, 3rd choice of alternate flights

TSA Security Tips

  • Consider wearing slip-on shoes vs boots – unless it’s snowing – then wear the boots.
  • Did you know that you could tweet TSA if you have a question about what is allowed in your carry-on, checked bag, etc.? Tweet @AskTSA and there’s also a free MyTSA app with a really cool “Can I bring” feature.
  • Be proactive and get ready for your turn by emptying your pockets, removing your electronics – laptop, iPad, Kindle Fire, etc.
  • Pay attention and listen to the TSA agents as they may direct you to a short line or give you or your traveling companion’s other guidance.
  • Speed up the TSA line, enroll in TSA Precheck, Global Entry or Mobile Passport (it’s free and a downloadable app).

Looking for more travel and packing tips? Use the Search Box at the top.

Don’t Miss:

1 Bag, 2 Weeks: Living out of a Carry-On
Pros and Cons of Holiday Season Travel

More Reading:

Fly Like Rudolph for the Holiday Season

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About Donna Adinolfi - Editor-in-Chief 250 Articles
In addition to being our Editor-in-Chief, Donna Adinolfi is a wellness travel expert, a freelance writer, an award-winning photographer, and the founder/publisher of Her 30+ year career includes serving as the Travel & Spa Editor of Balance Magazine as well as planning wellness travel & retreats. An avid fan of the freedom from carrying cash or credit cards, Donna loves to visit all-inclusive wellness resorts in the U.S, and traveling to some of Mexico's and the Caribbean's many all-inclusive resorts several times each year. She's also a member of the North American Travel Journalists Association.
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