The holiday season is always one of the busiest times of year to travel and can understandably be quite stressful on anyone! Whether you’re flying or driving home to be with family, this list of best travel tips for surviving the holidays will help keep stress during your trip at a minimum!
Regardless of where you’re going, it is important to be mentally prepared for a traffic, crowds, and a little bit of chaos! So while this list will help you better prepare and navigate certain less-than-favorable situations it is by no means a cure! Besides the tips on the list, I recommend having the mindset of expecting a little frustration and stress going into scenarios! If you are mentally prepared for some added annoyances, chances are you won’t find yourself jilted with utter shock and frustration when your flight is delayed or that extra hour of traffic turns into two. Bottom line? Brace yourself.
Okay now let’s get into the list! Be sure to bookmark and share this article to Pinterest as it will be not only helpful for those not just traveling this holiday season, but year round! And if you have any helpful travel tips for dealing with stress and crowds, please leave ’em in the comments below.
Successfully Navigate the Airport
I highly recommend downloading the GateGuru app if you don’t already have it! GateGuru provides you with Gate information, security wait times, and even offers airport dining recommendations! This app is awesome for layovers and delays because it’ll allow you to explore or grab a bite to eat without missing out on flight information.
Keep Devices Charged
Could there really be anything more frustrating than your phone dying during a layover with no outlet in sight? If you don’t have one already, purchase a power bank to ensure your phone, tablet, iPad, all have a backup battery to help you survive that unexpected flight delay, extra traffic, and never-ending-visit to Aunt Shirley’s.
Ditch the Driving Diversions
Avoid sitting in traffic longer than necessary by downloading the Waze app. Waze is a real-time navigation app that warns drivers of accidents, hazards, and other inconveniences than can keep you from driving at your destination in a timely manner. Waze is unique in that it relies on live reports from other Waze users, so your route will constantly be updated with live data.
Try and skip the checked bag and stick to a carry on this holiday season. Not only will it save you time not having to wait with the holiday crowds at baggage claim, but it will also make your trip back home easier considering you may have bulky presents to now travel with.
Pro tip: If you anticipate getting large gifts, consider bringing along an empty duffel bag to transport them in on your flight back home.
Prepare Presents After You Touch Down
If you’re flying, I do NOT recommend wrapping any gifts ahead of time. You never know what TSA is going to want to take a closer look at and they have every right to unwrap a gift. Avoid the frustration of your beautifully wrapped gift being destroyed by either waiting to wrap it at your destination OR using a gift bag if possible. Also, consider mailing large gifts and flying with gift cards instead.
Wear Your Bulky Clothing
If you’re packing for a cooler climate, consider wearing your bulkier coats/jacket on the plane to free up some space in your carry on. This tip is especially helpful for those who forgo a checked bag! Plus, airplanes can be quite chilly and you never know which flights you’ll wish you had a jacket on until it’s too late.
Pro Tip: Consider purchasing packing cubes to travel with! I got a set about a year ago and LOVE them! They help keep my suitcase super organized and also allow me to pack more, without taking up extra space! They’re also great for rolling dirty clothes into during your trip!
Don’t Travel on a Peak Day
Although not everyone will have the flexibility of choosing to leave earlier, if you can swing it try to travel 2 days before a holiday. The Wednesday before Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve are notorious for being some of the busiest days of the year for traveling. By leaving early an extra day, you’re going to encounter less crowds and more family time. It’s a win-win!
Prep Your Toiletries
If you’re like me, you probably travel with half your medicine cabinet. I bring along so many travel size skincare and haircare products I could fuel a small salon. I try to keep everything under 3 fluid ounces so I don’t have to have a checked bag. Also, by bringing along little baby sized items I’m able to thus save space and pack more. It’s a vicious cycle.
Keep in mind that TSA requires all liquids for carry ons to be in quart sized plastic bags. No exceptions, although some airports are more strict than others. But if you do have a checked bag or are road trippin’ it, I recommend purchasing a see-through PVC toiletry bag for fuss free clean up in the case of any leaks.
Keep Comfort in Mind
Things like earplugs, hand sanitizers, hair ties, Aspirin, and Pepto-Bismal can really make a difference in comfort levels while traveling. I try to imagine any possible bodily discomfort I could experience while traveling (headache, upset stomach, etc.) and bring something along to ease it! The last thing you want to be feeling in a crowded airport is pain and discomfort. Hello anxiety!
Pro Tip: If you’re spending the holidays meeting your significant other’s family, things like breathe mints, lint rollers, and perfume rollerballs are also great to bring for a post-plane freshen up and great first impression!
Create a Killer Playlist
Long car rides can be super boring, especially if you find yourself stuck in traffic. Try to lessen the boredom by creating a super fun playlist ahead of time to play on your commute. This playlist can have fun holiday music to set the mood, be filled with throwbacks, or maybe just made up of current favs!
In the week before I drive home, I like to immediately add any new music I like to a playlist for my car and then refrain from listening to it as much as possible. By doing this, I have a drive that is filled with new music I haven’t gotten sick of yet. I find this keeps me really entertained on an otherwise boring, long drive. This also works great for flights as well. Try Amazon Music Unlimited 30-Day Free Trial
So there you have it! I hope this travel tips for surfing the holidays actually were helpful to you and gave you a an idea or two! If you have any great travel tips drop them in the comments below!
Hi there Pretty! I’m Shelby, the creator of Pretty Primp! I believe that beauty is a form of art and we should all be confident and educated enough to be our own artist!