Holiday travel can be fun but can also be a bit stressful. Yes, you get to travel and meet with friends and family, but you have to pack and deal with traffic and kids in the backseat especially if you're not flying. If you want to make the holidays as smooth as possible, you'll need to plan ahead, get organized and follow these holiday travel tips to get started.
1. Whether you fly or drive, leave early or late.
If you're driving, leave earlier or later in the day to bypass all the traffic. For plane travel, you'll have a better chance of arriving at your destination on time if you schedule a morning flight.
2. Eat before you go.
Belly rumblings might make you grumpy during the trip. Eat before you go, or risk losing time by having to stop off for a bite to eat.
3. Pack lightly.
You'll require less room in the car if you pack only what you need for your holiday vacation. By packing lightly, you'll spend less time picking out clothes and more time getting ready and heading out the door.
4. Keep the kids busy.
Consider buying your child a new toy for the trip. It will provide delightful entertainment and save you from nagging questions and a bored, grumpy child.
5. Consolidate your plans digitally.
Use your smartphone to store all of your important numbers and reservation info. You can also use smart apps to book flights, car rentals and corporate housing for your vacation.
6. Use corporate housing or a vacation home instead of a hotel.
Corporate housing and vacation homes give you a home away from home and come complete with full kitchens and bedrooms. It's a safer, more relaxing alternative to hotels and feels like home even on a holiday vacation.
7. Research ahead of time.
Take time to find the best route if you're driving. A scenic route with less traffic can ease your stress and give your family better views during the drive.
8. Pack emergency supplies.
You never know if a flat tire or a snowstorm could delay things. Keep a spare tire ready, a first-aid kit on hand and extra food in a cooler for emergencies.
9. Don't worry so much.
It's a holiday vacation, not another day at work. If you can't stick to your family's activity schedule, let it go, and focus on the next attraction along the way.
10. Hand out gift cards.
Gift cards allow people to buy what they want after the holidays. If you don't know what to buy or have no room for presents, gift cards work wonders.
This holiday season, don't spend your time worrying. With a little planning and organization, you can enjoy your vacation and look forward to doing it all over again next year.