The holiday season is rapidly approaching, and for many that means travel. We’ve traveled over the holidays at least every other year for the past 29 years! While many find holiday travel to be stressful, we’ve discovered ways to minimize stress and maximize holiday fun. Here are five ways to make your holiday travel easier!
1. Confirm your reservations for hotels, car rentals, activities, and flights. Besides the obvious benefit of being assured of a place to sleep and a car to drive, reconfirming that you have seat assignments for your flights is the single most important pre-travel confirmation you can make. Rechecking often-fluctuating rental car prices might be worth it, too — we’ve frequently found a much cheaper rate closer to our travel date, and there’s no penalty for cancelling a previous reservation.
2. Consider frequent flyer miles. While it’s almost certainly too late to use miles to travel around the holidays for this year, consider stockpiling miles to use for next year. Airlines — and even many flight attendants — will be offering airline credit card deals that often result in enough miles for a free round-trip ticket without spending much at all. With some fiscal discipline and a little planning, these offers can be a great way to stretch next year’s holiday travel budget.
3. Put together a checklist. Making a pre-travel checklist (or two) can avoid that sinking feeling when you realize you’ve left your camera (or the gifts you wrapped) at home. While we’re big fans of packing light (even if it’s a bit tougher to do in winter), our checklists include what to pack as well as what to do around the house before we leave.
4. Make a plan. If there’s something that you really want to do over the holidays, and it’s possible to make reservations, be sure to make a reservation. You don’t want to miss out on that one thing you were really hoping to do! And on a bigger scale, consider your preferred travel style and try to plan an itinerary to match. This is especially tough when it comes to holiday travel, but we’re convinced that it’s even more reason to do it.
5. Remember why you’ve come on this trip. You’ve come to share time with friends and family. You’ve come to participate in long practiced traditions and to create new ones. You’ve come to relax! You’ve come to eat until you’re about to burst. So sit back and relax, make some memories, and dig in to that delicious pumpkin pie. But remember to build in some breaks from the family fun to recharge your batteries, get lots of rest, and increase your chances of having a great trip!
We hope that your holiday travels are enjoyable and stress-free (okay, minimally stressful!), whether they’re for a week or a weekend.