Holiday travel is rarely on the top of anyone’s list when it comes to favorite things to do in life. We love being with family, checking out new destinations and celebrating the season with our loved ones, but getting there? Well that is a different story.
Walk into the holiday travel frenzy with the knowledge you need to sail through security, hit the road with enough snacks and entertainment to last the trip, and keep things simple when everyone else is going insane.
Ship your gifts
We all love to shop… there is no doubt about that! Finding that perfect gift for everyone in the family is a mission you gladly accept. However, once you have the perfect gift, you have to get it to them. If you are flying, ship the gifts out ahead of time. If you are ordering the gifts online ship them directly to your destination and wrap when you get there. If you are driving a long distance, still consider shipping gifts ahead of time so nothing is forgotten or broken in transit.
Breeze through airport security
Arrive early at the airport so you don’t panic when you see the line backed up at airport security. Things do and will take longer when a greater influx of travelers hits airport personnel and everyone feels like they need to get where they are going more than everyone else. Have your laptop in its own bag so you don’t have to rummage. Have all liquids in a quart-size bag in your purse so you can throw your tickets and ID in your purse at the same time you are whipping out your liquids to go through the scanner. The less you have to rummage through, the smoother things will go.
No mom leaves the house without at least one snack in her purse — but when you travel maybe you take three. Well during the holidays you will want to take five. Have a variety to keep you and the kids entertained. Bring healthy, high-protein snacks that can keep you fueled up for your travel day. Trail mix, granola bars, fruit, cheese and crackers will all get through security without a problem, stay edible in the car and keep your family smiling.
Assume delays will happen
Whether you are in the air or rolling along the road to Grandma’s house you will inevitably hit some sort of delay. Traffic jams, winter storms, accidents, mechanical difficulties and delayed crew can turn your perfectly timed four-hour trip into a day-long event. Make sure you have extra snacks on hand and a little cash for treats if needed. Bring extra entertainment. Games like Spot It can keep the kids laughing while you sit in traffic. A new movie can keep everyone enthralled while you sit at your gate. If your delays become extreme, give everyone a dollar, draw names from a cup and go Secret Santa shopping in the airport or at a local shop. See how creative the family gets with their purchases. It will ease the tension and keep little minds entertained.
Remember that airport staff, construction crew, toll operators and train conductors are people too. Give them a smile. Wish the security guard that just rummaged through your bag a “happy holiday.” Getting disgruntled over delays will not make you any friends or get you to your destination any sooner. With a positive attitude you can show your kids that holiday travel isn’t just about the destination, it is about the journey you take together and the memories you make.
Where are you traveling with your family this holiday season?
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