The holidays bring plenty of cause for good cheer—but also for extra aggravation if you’re traveling to see family and friends. Traveling during the holidays can be challenging simply because so many more people are on the road and in the air, flying or driving to grandma’s house. That means longer lines, more traffic jams, fuller flights, airport staff who are stretched too thin…the list goes on.
Holiday Travel Tips
But if you’re prepared, you can avoid many of the traditional hassles of transport this holiday season. Here are four holiday travel tips that veteran travelers use to bring calm to the chaos and enjoy a stress-free holiday:
Choose Your Days Wisely:
When it comes to holiday excursions, not all travel days are created equal. Last-minute schedulers tend to choose the days right before Thanksgiving and Christmas to travel, which are the busiest days to fly or drive, according to USA Today. A better bet to give yourself some breathing room is to make your pilgrimage several days before the holiday (as far in advance as possible), and leave several days following, when the smoke has cleared. Alternatively, if you have a short window of time for your visit, you’re better off flying on the actual holiday to save money and avoid some of the crowd.
Pack With Security Screenings in Mind:
There’s nothing more aggravating than getting delayed by airport security because you’ve brought items that can’t be cleared through the checkpoints. Trying to travel with food or beverages for holiday meals can result in wasted time and money, since you may not be able to bring jams, sauces, or other foods that may be considered liquids on the plane. Bringing wrapped Christmas gifts is another no-no, as they are subject to inspection and may be unwrapped by security personnel. If in doubt about what and how to pack, check with the airline prior to heading for the airport.
Build in Extra Time for Transport:
Running late is stressful, yet delays should be expected when traveling during the holidays. To avoid missing your flight or Christmas dinner, you should allow yourself considerably more time than you normally would to get from Point A to Point B. Imagine the worst-case scenario of getting stuck in traffic, having trouble parking at the crowded airport, and missing the shuttle bus to your terminal. Factor in a sufficient time cushion to accommodate for each of these potential situations.
Lighten Your Load:
Bringing extra luggage not only causes stressful delays, but it costs more too on most airlines. Even if you’re driving to your holiday destination, having too much “stuff” packed into your car can cause hassles on both the front and back end with extra loading and unloading. To avoid the tendency to over pack for a short trip, mail gifts and packages ahead of time to your destination. You might ship other extra items, such as bulky winter coats and holiday outfits, in advance as well. If you have more than can comfortably fit in a carryon bag, consider leaving it behind. And remember, it’s Christmas—so you’ll probably be coming home with more than you left with!
So don’t make the holidays more stressful than they need to be. For a stress-free holiday, schedule ahead, pack with care, allow more transport time, and jettison whatever you can do without. With these holiday travel tips in mind, you’ll have a better chance of arriving calm and on time to your destination.
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If you are considering furnished monthly vacation rentals in New York or Boston, or a holiday week in New Jersey, Connecticut or White Plains, reach out to Furnished Quarters. We specialize in temporary housing, from corporate serviced apartments to monthly furnished vacation stays. For further information or a short-term apartment quote, call 800-255-8117 or visit www.furnishedquarters.com.