By Editor Adetoun Adeyemo, Dec 20, 2017
Tips for dodging headaches and hassles during the busy holiday travel season.
We’ve all been there. Bulging bags. Flight delays. Grumpy kids. Inclement weather conditions. Unfortunately, holiday travel can make Grinches out of the best of us. But fret not: We sought guidance from travel insiders to help make holiday travel feel more bearable. Whether your idea of the perfect winter wonderland involves piña coladas and sea breezes, hot chocolate and ski slopes or a roaring fire in the family hearth, follow the advice below and plan ahead to make the best out of your time in transit this season. From last-minute deals to family travel advice to packing tips, U.S. News has you covered.
Well, for some people, a lot. Along with the parties and holiday cheer, there are pressures, expectations and other mental health-related issues that can make this time of year less holly and jolly.
There are ways to manage this stress so it doesn’t get in the way of enjoying your celebrations. We chatted with a few wellness experts about how to make sure you actually have fun over the holidays and handle the anxiety that a whole month of celebrating, eating and entertaining can create.
Photo by: Holidayapartments
According to AAA, 107.3 million Americans are expected to travel this holiday season, the highest year-end volume on record, with 97.4 Americans projected to travel by car, 6.4 million by air and 3.6 million by bus, train and cruise ship.
When considering more traditional destinations like those in the Caribbean, editor points out that most of the islands are open for business, despite this year’s damaging hurricane season. According to Poirot, travelers may be able to find deals to unscathed islands such as “Aruba, Antigua, Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, Nevis the Dominican Republic, Trinidad and Tobago and even Turks and Caicos,” which she says “have already reopened, despite receiving hurricane damage.” On the other hand, sit was advice waiting to visit Puerto Rico, St. Marten, St. Barth’s and the Virgin Islands, “as they will be rebuilding for several months.”
Keep the Kids Happy on Long Trips
Many people also find themselves defending their life choices to meddling relatives during the holidays. You could be grilled on how to start the plans on traveling with the kids or be asked if you really need that extra piece of cake. My advice I recommend is staying clam and by setting boundaries, so as to achieve your goals.
When taking a holiday road trip, makes sure each child has their own portable phone charger to avoid arguments over the one in the car. For long airplane rides, “everyone needs their own backpack with their own distractions, kit. “Don’t count on domestic flights to have movies your kids will love. Have them downloaded ahead of time on their iPads. For teens and adults, it recommends downloading favorite Netflix series ahead of time. “Last time my flight was delayed, I watched four episodes of three movies, it was relaxing. When her boys were younger, sometimes I will carry some toys to keep the kids occupied in case of airport delays.
Avoid Holiday Hassles at the Airport
Things I do to stacks the deck in with my family’s favor at the airport by following a few simple rules. First, I check in online to avoid lengthy lines. Then, I and my family arrive at the airport extra early. “Three hours prior to flight time is a safe bet,” You have to keep important documents in an easily accessible place to avoid having to dig through her bag at security.
Signing up for TSA PreCheck, the government program which allows pre-qualified U.S. citizens expedited passage through security, is worth it. That way, you can avoid having to take off shoes and remove computers from bags at security. If one parent has TSA PreCheck, kids age 12 and under will get it on their boarding passes. It is also recommended downloading the airline’s app ahead of time and signing up for text alerts “to stay informed about any changes to the flight.”
These accommodations offer added convenience and comfort while away from home for the holidays.
Navigate Weather Delays and Disruptions with Ease
“Unfortunately, winter weather delays are often unavoidable, “Choosing drive-to locations of direct flights can help eliminate some of the stress, but if you’ve discovered you will be delayed, don’t allow this to ruin your vacation.” Instead, i suggests taking advantage of airport services like salons that offer massages or sit-down restaurants to kill time before your next flight.
If your flight is canceled, it is much more effective to call the airline from the airport instead of waiting in-person to talk to a reservations agent. By calling, “you will get through quicker and they can help accommodate you on a new flight, and help you find seats together and confirm them.” Also cautions against attempting to travel on standby. “If you attempt to fly standby, you forfeit any seats you have confirmed and are subject to the availability of a flight. When traveling with young children, it is best to confirm your seats to avoid being separated.
Pack Strategically for the Holidays
As CEO of high-end luggage purveyor Briggs & Riley, Richard Krulik is an expert on all things packing. His top advice during the holidays is to avoid checking bags if possible. “Pick a carry-on bag that offers some extra packing room,” he says. Also, familiarize yourself with TSA requirements and ensure you don’t bring more than the allotted quart-size bag of liquids, gels and pastes under 3.4 ounces. “Either fill small travel bottles with your own products or buy the travel size at your local drugstore,” he says.
To ensure wrinkle-free clothes upon arrival, It recommends three different packing methods. The Interweave Method is his favorite way to pack. “First, place the longest items, like dresses and pants, in the bottom of the suitcase, with the ends draping over the suitcase edges. Then, fill the suitcase with folded shirts and rolled items, before laying the draping garment edges over the top.” The Rolling Method, he says, works for garments like sweaters, pajamas and jeans. “Secure the rolled items with a rubber band so they say in a roll,” he says. If you want to pack by outfit, Krulik suggests bundling longer outfit items around the smaller ones.