Traveling can be an exciting, long-awaiting journey, or it can be a dreaded and exhausting experience altogether. Traveling during the holidays is almost always on the latter side with crowded airports, train stations and high levels of inconvenient security checkpoints. Going home to see loved ones for the holidays can be something you’ve looked forward too, however, getting there is usually the stressful part. Whether you are traveling for work, or for Christmas festivities within the next few weeks, here are some helpful tips to help you survive the crowds and still keep a joyful holiday spirit.
1. Pack light
We’re talking more about weight here than quantity. When we go home for the holidays, we are going to see old friends, family, and post pictures. Pack whatever it takes to look fashion forward this season. Yet, try to pack things that are literally “light”. It can be hard to pack light when it’s December and your winter wardrobe is filled with dozens of layers and large coats, but try to pick one (maybe your heaviest coat) that you can wear on the plane and just one other to pack. Pack layers that are versatile, so you can wear the same thing twice, just in a different way. Neutrals, solids and something with a splash of color are a good rule to keep in mind. Accessories can be much lighter than an item of clothing, so pack a lot of accessories and spice your outfit up that way. When airlines check your bags this Holiday season, they will charge you an exorbitant amount of money if you’re even slightly over the limit, which leads me to point number two…
2. Do your research
Check how many checked bags you can have and what the max weight is. Weigh your bags at home, and go even lighter than it says, just in case your scale and the airlines is a bit off. That extra pair of shoes is not worth an extra $100 in fees. Double check boarding times, what gate you will be at, and confirm everything with your reservations and driver getting you where you need to be.
3. Plan for boredom
It’s best to prepare yourself ahead of time that there will be crowds. Plan to arrive early, and sit and wait. If you are dealing with crazy crowds, the only thing that can make it worse is being in a rush. Instead, be prepared with fresh music, podcasts, and even a game or two on your phone. If you prefer to read, then download an audiobook on your phone to save space.
4. Stay Connected
If you’re going to be sitting at the airport, download some apps light GateGuru that let you know of your approximate wait times, and the app for the airline you’ll be on will usually send you your boarding pass right onto your phone.
5. Plan for the worst
Triple check your flight and gate details, transportation, accommodations and any other reservations you may have made. Keep all your confirmation numbers, boarding passes and other important documents together in one place on your person, and another place on your phone just in case something gets lost or stolen. Call your bank ahead of time to let them know where you are traveling so they don’t put a stop on your card. Have a plan B in order, just in case your flight gets delayed, some money goes missing, or your driver never shows.
6. Keep your spirits high!
Whatever happens this Holiday season, remember that Christmas is a time to celebrate, be joyful, generous and kind to others. Everyone else on the street, in the airport, or in traffic making you late is on their way to something just as important, so try to share some Christmas cheer and not let the chaos take away from the Holiday spirit.