10 Tips for Traveling During the Holidays
Hello, hello! Sorry for the unexpected absence last week. I didn’t have a ton of time off of work for the Thanksgiving holiday, and honestly, I found that I just really wanted to rest! I apologize for not getting this post out last week, as I’m sure some of you had to travel for Thanksgiving. But, now, you can read all about my tips for traveling during the holidays, before you have to go anywhere for Christmas/Hanukkah/New Years, etc.
Driving Tips for Traveling During the Holidays
Gas Up, Change your Oil, and Fill Your Tires
Just generally get your car ready for a roadtrip. Also, pack a car emergency kit, with jumper cables, flashlight, air pressure gauge and refill, etc. Nothing ruins a roadtrip like running out of gas or getting a flat tire.
Stay Aware of Other Drivers
Any time you have more people on the road, you have increased likelihood of traffic, and therefore accidents. Pay attention while driving and allow aggressive drivers to pass.
You may also need to slow down in inclement weather and its best to stay cautious around times other drivers may have been drinking.
Plan Your Route Ahead of Time
Even if you’re driving somewhere you have driven before, I always recommend that you plan your route before hitting the road. There may be construction, an accident, weather, etc. that can change which may be the best way to go. And, as long as you have a passenger than can assist, refresh your maps frequently to make sure you have the most updated data! No one wants to sit in traffic that could have been avoided, had you gotten off one exit sooner.
Keep Valuables Covered
If you are going to be driving long enough to warrant at least one stop, maybe for gas or food, I highly recommend you keep valuables hidden. If you have a closed trunk, that works great. Otherwise, you can get privacy screens that go over an open trunk, like I have in my Rav4. Break-ins happen and if people can’t see what you’re carrying, they may be less tempted.
Have a Car Cell-Phone Charger
You never know what can happen and it’s not the best situation to end up without a phone. Get a cell phone charger that charges as you drive and you’ll avoid this being a possibility!
Recommended: Road Trip Essentials
Travel During Off-Peak Days
You may have already booked your flights, and if you haven’t, aren’t you quite the last-minute planner! Yikes! You may or may not know that flights will be less expensive if you travel on the actual holiday. For Christmas, it is recommended that you try to avoid the first couple days before Christmas, and the weekend after. This year, it’s a little tough because Christmas happens to fall on a Wednesday. Obviously you want to maximize your time off, but you may want to avoid flying the Friday before and the Sunday after.
Register for TSA PreCheck
Just think about how peaceful your airport travel could be, if you waited in a much shorter security line and didn’t have to remove every last thing from your carry-on! A lot of travel credit cards reimburse for the fee associated with TSA Pre-Check. If not, its only $85 for 5 years and if you fly more than 1-2 times a year, its well worth it in my opinion.
Check out this amazing guide to using TSA Pre-Check from Bankrate! It has information regarding the application process, as well as credit cards that may be offering promotions for the service.
Pack Gifts Wisely
Did you forget about TSA? If you have to travel with gifts, do not wrap them, because they may end up unwrapped by security.
I would also suggest that you pack any gifts in your carry-on, just in case that checked suitcase gets lost. Or, you know, just generally tossed around.
Choose Connections Well
If you have to have a connecting flight, think about potential weather impacts on your travel. This is a tricky time of year to be flying in the northern one half of the US, so consider that when booking travel. If you are definitely traveling somewhere where snow is a real possibility, allow yourself plenty of time between flights. If you’re delayed on the first flight, you will give yourself more of a chance to catch the second. And worst case, you have longer to find a snack at the airport.
Plan Your Parking
Normally, you can probably park at an airport, no issues. But during the holidays? Good luck! Some airports allow you to reserve a spot, or you may want to consider taking an Uber or having someone drop you off.
Recommended: Best Websites for Booking Travel
Alrighty, folks! Those are my top tips for traveling during the holidays. Honestly, they are my top tips for traveling year-round! What are your favorite ways to avoid holiday stress with travel?