The holidays are a time for friends and family. Unfortunately getting to them isn’t always easy, especially if you’re flying. Most of us associate travel during the holidays with a nightmare but a little preparation and the right attitude makes a huge difference.
5 Tips for Painless Holiday Travel
1. Pack early and use a checklist.
Most Important? ID or Passport, Chargers and Reservation Printouts! If you’re looking for something a bit more comprehensive check out this thorough checklist by Diane Gottsman, Etiquette Expert.
2. Prepare for the worst and expect delays!
You are allowed one personal item (a briefcase, laptop bag, backpack or purse) and one full sized carry on. I recommend taking advantage of both so that you can have some extra comfort amenities on hand like snacks, books, games and even a small pillow. If you’re traveling with a baby/toddler, don’t forget to pack a change of clothes and extra diapers/formula. If you can, use any down time to rest/take a nap. (Don’t be afraid to rearrange some airport furniture – we do it all the time!)
3. Drive Yourself.
I can’t tell you how many times a taxi or shuttle has been late or never showed up for a ride to the airport. Rather than risk this, I’ve stopped paying for rides to the airport and instead drive myself. I use the Parking Spot whenever possible, but it really saved our butt on the day we left for our wedding! A few too many last minute – really last minute – DIY wedding projects meant we were rushing to catch our flight. Thankfully, we were able to make up the time and save ourselves hassle by parking at the Parking Spot. After dropping off our car, the fun polka dotted shuttle deposited us and our million bags right at the curb for a quick check-in.
4. Check your flight frequently.
You’ve booked your flight, chosen your aisle seat (near the exit of course) and think you’re done. Not necessarily. Changes in airplanes happen often and seats get reassigned. They also have a tendency to change gates and occasionally run late. Make sure to check your flight often leading up to departure day and of course the day of. It’s better to spend the extra time at home during a delay than camping out at airport!
5. Remember to Smile!
It’s not too much trouble to smile and say hello to everyone. This is a stressful time for all, especially during the holidays! You will be surprised as what smiling at a stranger can do not only for their day but for your own attitude as well. Who knows, it may just be the person you’re “stuck” setting next to for your cross country flight.
A huge thank you to the Parking Spot for providing 1 week of complimentary airport parking for our wedding trip. No additional compensation was received and as always, all opinions are mine, all mine.