Travel Tip Tuesday: Four Tips for Reducing Holiday Travel Stress

Travel Tip Tuesday

Even with the Grinch mandating baggage restrictions, Scrooge in the security lines and the inevitable airport delay, traveling this season doesn’t have to lose its merriment. Here are five holiday travel tips to help you stay in the spirit of the season.

Gatwick North Terminal Christmas treephoto credit: RachelH_

1. Book Early

It makes sense the best way to avoid holiday travel stress is to book your trip early. Additionally, if you have any overnight stays-like we do in Rome this year-book your hotel, rental car or any other transportation options early. Also, be sure to check-in for your flight online and choose your seats as early as possible.

2. Scratch That-Do Everything Early

or at least do everything you can.

In addition to booking your flight early, it is a good idea to make your packing list, pack your bags and leave for the airport earlier than you would for non-holiday travel.

Why should you pack early?

Since holidays often require additional packing of gifts, cards and other holiday-related items, you can’t always use your traditional packing list. If you start your list early, you will have extra time for adding to your list and ensuring you don’t run late the day of your flight because you are worrying about last-minute details.

3. Pack Well

What is worse than opening your checked luggage at your holiday destination and discovering that many of your beloved gifts or broken? Hmmm … Not opening your checked luggage because it never arrived.

Both of these are possible scenarios if you don’t pack your bags well.

Although I advocate traveling carry-on only, it might not be possible during the holidays if you give-or receive!-a large number of gifts. To help prevent any holiday disappointments, pack your most precious items in your carry-on. Wrap items that must go in checked luggage with extra padding, divide them among all checked bags and lock them with TSA-approved locks. I’d also cellophane-wrap the luggage at the airport, just in case.

4. Know Your Airline

Airlines are changing their checked luggage and carry-on restrictions faster than most people can keep up. Read the luggage restrictions for your airline before you head to the airport so you aren’t met at the counter with any unwelcome charges that damper your holiday.

What other holiday travel tips would you suggest this season?

Until next time … Buon Viaggio!

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Comments

  1. Great tips.

    If you cellophane wrap your luggage how can TSA get access to it?

    I don’t even bother with the locks. Maybe I should, since most of the time when things go missing it’s not TSA but baggage handlers.

    I’m not sure, but I’ve noticed cellophane wrap “counters” in all of the major airports I’ve flown through lately. And yes-definitely use those TSA locks-remember my nightmare with the baggage folks last year??

    .-= nyc/caribbean ragazza´s last blog ..Pictures of Trinità del Monti church, Spanish Steps, Rome =-.

  2. Good advice, Cherrye! I’d add a reminder that once you leave your house and start your journey, what happens is not in your control (traffic, delays, crowds, etc.). You’ve heard it before, but it’s true: all you can control is your own reaction to events.

    Try to keep in mind that everybody is stressed.

    Airline hotel and other staff on the ground and in the air are working as hard as they can, and a little kindness and understanding on the traveler’s part goes a long way.

    In fact, I’ve been bumped up to 1st class more than once, because I offered to give up my carefully chosen window seat to someone who needed to sit with a child.

    I guess the bottom line is this: focus on what’s really important–the people around you– as well as getting to your destination. Spreading a little cheer and not complaining about trivial discomforts can make the season brighter for all.

    Great tips, as always, Paula!

    .-= Paula Russell´s last blog ..Nan McElroy’s Venice =-.

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