a short survival guide
If you know me at all you know that I absolutely LOVE being a holiday traveler. When people learn that about me, I get the look. It’s the same look every time. As this happens all the time, I’ve become accustom to it. This is a specific look, let me tell you about it. There comes a head tilt, mouth open, eyes squinted and a deep stare into your soul (luck for me, being a ginger they are looking at nothing!). When people give me this look it’s like I have three heads or just said the most crude thing they have ever heard. With the love of holiday traveling you learn a thing or two. Before you go out on your big holiday adventure take some of these tips and tricks into consideration.
Don’t Drive Yourself to the Airport
Arrive in style of course. But seriously, don’t drive yourself to the airport or the train station. This will be an added stress to your life. You want your holiday travel to be as smooth as possible.
Get There Early
This seems like a no-brainer, but get to the airport or train station early. I don’t know what it is but around the holidays there are more delays than not, which is totally ironic considering everyone cannot wait to get to where they are going. Anyway, get there early. It’s better to be early and on time, than late.
Make alternative plans, trips if traffic makes your way home too overwhelming. Is there a scenic route? Maybe this will make the trip a little longer, but there won’t be as much traffic. Break up a long drive by finding a few places to stop. And as always, when flying, make sure you check the airline’s restrictions ahead of time on carry-on luggage and fees for checked bags.
TSA suggests to ship wrapped gifts or wait until you reach your destination to wrap them. I’ve been in a situation before where TSA had to unwrap a present to inspect it. Ship gifts ahead of time.
Travel Early/Late in the Day
Flight statistics show that planes traveling earlier in the day have a better on-time performance. And if your flight is cancelled, you will have the option of taking a flight later in the day. As a perk, there will be fewer lines at security. If you are driving, hit the road when every one else is asleep — early morning or late at night. You can always take a nap when you arrive at your destination.
Expect the Unexpected
Only a half hour before connecting to another flight? Traveling to Rochester, MN, during snow season? Think ahead! Plan accordingly. Leave extra time before flights to deal with security, extra time between connections and, for road trips, pack tire chains for snowy conditions, flashlights, and of course, a few band-aids never hurt either. But as a positive, expect holiday cheer and excitement from everyone as well. Remember if you have a smile on your face– they will too!