Holiday Travel Tips

13 Holiday Travel Tips

The holidays are the busiest time of the year to travel. Whether you are hitting the road or flying to your holiday travel destinations, preparation is the key to low-stress holiday travel. We have compiled holiday travel tips for driving and flying to make your trip more enjoyable.

The holidays are stressful enough. Follow these holiday travel tips to enjoy smooth sailing (or flying or driving) to your holiday destination.

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Holiday Air Travel Tips

Things To Do Before You Arrive At The Airport

Save time at the airport by checking in online and downloading or printing your boarding pass. It is also a good idea to have an easily accessible copy of your travel itinerary with confirmation numbers and contact information in case you experience a delay. It is a good idea to save the information in your phone as well as have a printed back up copy (in case your phone is run over by an airplane, okay that is unlikely, but you never know when your phone could die or accidentally take a swim).

Pack Healthy Snacks

Not all airlines offer snacks (free or for purchase) and not all airports have healthy food available. It is a good idea to pack a few of your own snacks for the flight. You can bring your own snacks on the plane if you follow TSA’s food regulations.

Arrive Early

If you are a frequent flyer, likely you show up at the airport with just enough time to go through priority screening and head to your gate. Do not do this during the holidays! Follow the recommended TSA guidelines this time of year and give yourself at least two hours (or three for international flights). TSA has a wait time estimator on their website that allows you to check wait times; however, remember this is not 100% accurate. Be sure to check the time the wait was reported. When I viewed the TSA site, the most recent wait time was 48 hours old.

Treat Yourself

After you have cleared security, take advantage of airport amenities you might skip when you travel for a business trip. Stop into Xpress Spa or BeRelax for a quick shoulder massage or even hunker down into a SmartCarte massage chair for 15 minutes. Another treat is hanging out in an airport lounge where you will enjoy complimentary snacks, beverages, cocktails, and an overall calm environment. LoungeBuddy is a great app to find a lounge in your terminal.

Pack Smarter

Packing lighter during holiday travel will reduce your chance of lost luggage and get you to your destination faster. You can and should carry-on only.

Prior to packing, make a list of activities you will be doing during your trip and plan your outfits accordingly. Pack items that are neutral in color and that can be worn in multiple ways. If you are staying longer than four days, think about doing laundry during your trip to avoid packing so much. Also, do not go overboard on shoes (you likely need three pairs- tennis shoes, sandals/high heels/boots, and loafers/flats).  

Wrapped Presents & Gifts

If you prefer to travel with wrapped presents, TSA wants you to know they may have to open them. A better idea is to use a gift bag or wrap the gift when you reach your destination.

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Holiday Travel Tips For Long Drives

Plan Your Route

Prior to leaving for your trip, check your route on Google maps and print out the directions (yes-on paper). As mentioned earlier, you never know when your phone may have an accident or you may not have service.

Pack Snacks

It is always a good idea to travel with food. Taking some healthy travel snacks will make your drive go faster (fewer stops for food). Plus, if you eat healthier and skip the drive-through, you will feel more energized when you reach your destination. If you are road tripping with kids in tow, pack as many different kinds of snacks as you can think of to make the drive better for everyone.

Check The Weather

Prior to leaving be sure you check the weather along your route. It is also a good idea to use a weather app with location-based push notifications so you are aware of any serve weather as you drive. A great app for this is the NOAA.

Prepare Your Entertainment

Make the drive go faster with a road trip playlist, DVD (not for the driver of course!) or book on tape. Haven’t tried books on tape before? Now is your chance! For a limited time, you can Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks!

Thoroughly Check Your Vehicle

Whether your vehicle is brand new or older than you, do a thorough inspection before you hit the road. Check your tire pressure, spare tires, oil levels, wipers, lights, etc. It is also a good idea to make sure you have jumper cables. If you have an unreliable car, consider renting a car for your drive.

Pack An Emergency Kit

If you do not already keep one in your car, it is a good idea to get an emergency kit before your trip. It is best to purchase one that you can keep in car, so you have all the essentials in one location. If you expect to encounter cold weather, remember to pack winter clothing and an emergency winter blanket in case you have an unexpected stop.

Keep An Eye On Traffic

Even if you are traveling a route you often, keep an eye on traffic. Avoid getting stuck in traffic jams or construction by using Waze during your drive.

Record Breaking Holiday Travel

For the past four years, a record breaking number of travelers have been hitting the road for the holidays. AAA.com reported over 100 million will be driving to their holiday destination.  Marshall Doney, AAA President and CEO credited lower gas prices and rising income to an increase in travel this holiday season. This year holiday gas prices are lower than they have been since 2010.

Airlines for America anticipates 1.9 million to 2.4 million passengers will be flying each day between December 18th and January 3rd (up to 10% more traffic than average).  Despite the increase in airport traffic, Airlines for America Vice President and Chief Economist, John Heimlich stated, “U.S. airlines are well-positioned to serve the higher demand by adding flights and seats, deploying new and larger aircraft and boosting staffing.”

Do you have holiday travel tips? We would love to hear them! Please share in the comments section!

Safe travels and Happy Holidays!

Business Travel Life

Business Travel Life is an online resource supporting the road warrior lifestyle. We give business travelers the tools they need to maintain their wellness and productivity when traveling. The topics we cover include business travel tips, travel workouts, healthy travel hacks, travel products, general travel tips, and industry trends. Our goal is to make business travel a healthier experience – and to make healthy travel practices more accessible to all road warriors.

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Kristina Portillo, CPT, MS

Kristina is the founder of Business Travel Life. Her love of fitness and travel unified to create a resource for business travelers and road warriors who want to take a healthier approach to business travel. She has traveled for business on and off for the past eight years. Kristina received a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership from Colorado State University and received her Bachelors of Arts in Business Marketing from Chaminade University of Honolulu.

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