How To Stay Sane When Traveling Over The Holidays
The holidays are perfect times to connect with family and friends, and make special memories but with all the hustle and bustle of traveling to see them, it can be easy to find yourself feeling frazzled and frantic. With Thanksgiving weekend the busiest time of the year for travel in the USA as well as Christmas and New Years as a close competitor, it’s important to not only plan your family trip in advance but a good idea take some tips on how to stay sane when traveling over the holidays.
Avoid Peak Times
In the battle of staying sane over the holidays, one important factor is trying to beat the crowds. When flying or driving, the day before the holidays will be the busiest time as well as the weekend following it. In addition, a general rule of thumb would be to avoid traveling during traditionally congested times of day. Instead, opt for early morning hours or later nighttime hours.
It may be the most wonderful time of the year traditionally but where your wallet is concerned, it might be the worst. If you are flying, booking a hotel or renting a car, shopping well in advance and frequently can help you find the best deals available. Utilizing websites that specialize in finding discount rates for travel and lodging, such as Expedia, Kayak or Orbitz, can help you narrow down your search or find more available choices for your needs. But it’s important to note that while websites like these may offer the best pricing for travel or lodging, it may not actually be the lowest when factoring in fees. In addition to checking these discount travel sites, we recommend checking with individual businesses and companies to see if you can snag the same great deal but without forking over the fee for booking.
Bundle It Up
One way to shop around, for the best deal is to check if any extra savings are available by bundling your bookings. Often times, particularly during peak travel times, package deals that include flights, car rentals and hotels stay all in one can be be your best best.
Know Your Route
Whether you are flying or driving, it’s important to know not only where you’re going but how you’re going to get there. When flying, double check that the itinerary offered allows for enough time to catch any connections without needing to race through a strange airport. Remember, with it being the busiest time of travel during the year, chances are you’ll need to make that connection while jostling through large crowds and possible weather delays. When driving, utilizing apps made for driving like Google Maps or Waze that offer real time road conditions, showing any accidents or delays along the way. But it’s always a good idea to have a general idea of your route before setting off in case you come across a low battery or driving through an area with a poor signal.
Early Bird Gets The Worm
In addition to avoiding peak travel times, a word for the wise would be to plan on the trip taking longer than it should. Save yourself unneeded stress and panic by adding plenty extra time to get to the airport or your destination knowing that you’re more than likely going to run into long lines with excess traffic and congestion.
With the ever increasing additional cost of checking luggage when flying, one of the cheapest and easiest ways to save money and time is to forgo a checked bag and instead opt for a simple carry on bag. However, it’s important to double check what TSA rules say about the items you plan on packing in that carry on and your air carrier’s policy on what size it can be. Understand that these rules and policies can change often and what may have been acceptable for a previous flight, may no longer be.
Plan on Patience
There’s a reason why patience is considered a one of the seven heavenly virtues… mainly because it’s hard to have it when you need it most. Understand that with a huge influx of people all taking the same route and space, there will be delays. Even though it may be difficult to remember while you’re standing or sitting in a long line, everyone who surrounds you is simply trying to do the same thing you are and enjoy the holidays with people they love. When you feel like you’re going to blow, take a deep breath and remember the reason for the season.
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