Chances are, you have family scattered across the country, and you’d like to see everyone during the holiday season with as little stress as possible. Don’t fear, it can be done — a successful holiday trip just takes a bit of planning and patience.
Here are a few tips:
Plan out your route. Like any great touring act, you’ve got to set your dates and plan your appearances wisely. If you’re planning on visiting friends and families in multiple cities, be sure to map out a route that makes sense. If possible, try to visit the farthest part of your family first, and then slowly work your way back to home, stopping to stay with the rest of your family. You may feel as though are constantly staying with different relatives for weeks on end, but its the most efficient way, and it’ll keep your stress level to a minimum.
Only fly when you have to. In terms of efficiency, there’s no better way to cover a lot of ground in a short amount of time than flying. But in terms of everything else — stress, expenses, luggage, cancellations — flying during the holiday season can be quite a chore. If your destinations are within driving distance, try to make it an old fashioned road trip. Sitting in a car for hours is never fun, but if you’re able, its the least stressful and most cost-effective option. If you aren’t able to drive, consider taking the train. Most cities are accessible by train, there aren’t as many luggage restrictions, and it’s usually less expensive than flying.
Be creative. It’s no secret: the holidays are the most-traveled part of the year. The airports will be packed and the interstates will be congested — that’s a given. If you’re creative with your timing, you can avoid some of the traffic. Choose your days and times carefully. If you have a moderate amount of ground to cover, traveling on the actual days of Thanksgiving and Christmas can be a little less hectic since most people have already reached their final destinations at that point. It’s a little cliched, but the earlier you can leave, the better. If you leave at the crack of dawn., you can always catch up on sleep once you’ve arrived at your destination!
Be an expert packer. If you’re traveling during the holidays, you’re most likely going to be bringing some extra cargo with you. When you are packing, be sure to take up as little space as possible with your clothes and other necessities in order to leave more room for the fun stuff like homemade food from your secret recipes or more importantly, presents.
Do you have a few other holiday travel tips? Be sure to let us know in the comments section!