Top 5 Holiday Travel Tips

Holiday Travel TipsDuring the holiday season, highways and airports turn into zoos. Dealing with throngs of holiday travelers can really put a damper on the holiday spirit. These holiday travel tips can help make your trip far less stressful and get you to your destination with your cheer intact.
Holiday Travel Tip #1: Get to the airport early.

It's not the most fun of holiday travel tips, but if you're flying, the lines are just plain longer around the holidays. Give yourself an extra 45 minutes, just to be safe -- you may kill some of it in the traffic en route to the airport. There's nothing worse than standing in line and sweating uncontrollably as you quake in fear of missing your flight. If you're really cutting it close, notify a guard; they may let you through on the Fast Track.

Holiday Travel Tip #2: Don't stress about finishing the shopping before you go.

It can be nice to have all your holiday shopping squared away, but before you overload yourself with baggage, keep in mind that, wherever you're traveling, there are almost definitely gifts you can buy there. You may even be able to find cute souvenirs from your hometown at the airport -- the kinds that make great stocking stuffers. If you're traveling somewhere exotic for a "destination holiday," that's all the more reason to wait until you get there to finish the shopping; you'll want gifts that fit the theme of your vacation.

Holiday Travel Tip #3: Make it fun.

Some fun holiday travel tips include wearing holiday-themed accessories, listening to holiday music on your car stereo or iPod, getting into the spirit by playing car games or even online games with family members via smartphone (not if you're driving, of course) and simply watching for other people who've gotten way too swept away with their holiday cheer. Getting there may not be half the fun, but it can actually be more enjoyable than traveling any other time of year.

Holiday Travel Tip #4: Be a peacekeeper, not a problem.

You may have special plans ahead, but try to keep a clear head and remember that everyone else is trying to get somewhere, too. There's nothing more obnoxious than a driver or airplane passenger who thinks they deserve special treatment because their holiday plans are so important. If you see someone like that actually getting special treatment, breathe deep and let it go -- they have no right to make you angry.

Holiday Travel Tip #5: Travel on the holiday.

If the thought doesn't make you miserable, one of the best holiday travel tips is to travel on the actual holiday. The roads are clearer, and if you're flying, rather than stressed out, overworked people dying to make it home in time to trim the tree, light the menorah or help with the turkey, you'll be surrounded by folks who've resigned themselves to being late for the party. You may find people are even more amiable than normal -- the holiday spirit can be irresistible.

Photo by imnakashima via Flickr.
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