There are so many more people traveling during the holidays. Having safe travels and keeping high spirits while you do so makes the trip more enjoyable for everyone involved. Here are 8 travel tips for the holiday season. It doesn’t matter what method of transportation you are using, I’m sure there are at least a couple of tips listed below that will come in handy.
8. Give Copies of Your Travel Plans to at Least Two Other People
Not only do I carry a complete set of itineraries with me, but I also give one to my family and one to the party I’m meeting. In my opinion the more people who know exactly where I am the better. This also gives me at least two people to contact in case I end up losing my own copy of this pertinent information.
7. Allow for Plenty of Additional Time
If you are traveling by train or on a plane, you’ll want to make sure to allow yourself a lot of extra time. It will take longer to get to the terminal, to check in any luggage you are carrying on, and to get through pretty much any line you will encounter. It’s usually one of those ‘hurry up and wait’ situations.
6. Be Prepared for Delays
I always take along enough extra clothing to tie me over in case my schedule gets altered by an unforeseen situation. I’ve had my luggage arrive the day after I did to my destination. I’ve had to stay the night in a place I hadn’t planned on and was always thankful for the extra clothes and toothbrush I’d kept with me. If you are driving somewhere, then having extra snacks and bottles of water in the car might come in handy if you are stuck in traffic. My mom and I were caught in a 5 hour delay on the highway on a trip to a friend’s wedding. We were so glad we thought to bring along some extra food and drinks!
5. Keep an Eye on the Weather
Most forecasts are made at least a week in advance. This means you should be well aware of any crummy weather that might be encountered along your travel route. Drastic changes in weather aren’t too bad when you’re only going to the next town for the holidays. However, when you are traveling across country and especially when you have small children in tow, being prepared for changes in the weather is extremely helpful.
4. Make Sure the Kids Have Activities to Keep Them Busy
There’s nothing like boredom to make a trip miserable for a kid. When the kids are cranky, this tends to make the adults traveling with them cranky as well. Have coloring books, puzzle books, activities for the car, music, snacks, and whatever else might keep them entertained. If you are driving to your destination, you might want to invest in a portable DVD player and a set of headphones for each kid. These are often lifesavers on family trips.
3. If Driving, Make Sure Your Vehicle Has Been Checked out
I know I’m horrible about making sure to keep my car’s oil changed exactly every 5000 miles. But, if I know that I’m going to be driving my personal vehicle for any length of distance during the holidays to visit friends and family, I make sure to have a complete check up done on my car well before I’m thinking of leaving. Not only do I have the oil changed, but I also have the tires checked and all the fluids checked and topped off if needed.
2. Make Sure Your Cell Phone is Fully Charged
I make sure my phone is charged up before leaving the house for a long trip. I also double check to make sure I have my charger in my purse. I have a charger for the car and one of those instant charge things that runs on batteries. These are amazing little devices. They allow you to charge your phone up in case of an emergency. However, these devices only provide you with enough charge to make a couple of phone calls, so make sure they are used wisely!
1. Pack for Anything
It’s hard to be prepared for anything and everything that could possibly go wrong. I was never in the boy scouts, but I’ve hear their motto many times from my grandfather. I put sleeping bags, emergency blankets, hand and foot warmers, and flares in the car when I’m driving to see family for the holidays. I take along a personal emergency kit too. Whether I’m traveling via plane or train, I make sure to have some extra cash and an address book with everyone’s addresses and phone numbers in it.
These are only 8 travel tips for the holiday season that I’ve found useful over the years. I have a routine in place and try to be prepared for whatever might occur. Of course, it’s hard to be fully prepared. I do the best I can and have been very fortunate with my holiday travels. What travel tips do you keep in mind when heading out for the holidays?
Top Photo Credit: clive_harris