Traveling during the holidays has its pros and cons, but if you don’t plan your trip correctly, there will be a lot more cons than pros. While proper planning can be time-consuming, it’s still worthwhile.
Either you’re going to see family that you haven’t seen in a while or you’re taking a vacation to a special place, like Disney World or New York City. Whatever the case may be, you’re going to need a few holiday travel tips to get you through the transportation portion of your trip.
If you’re traveling by car, then the first tip is simple. If possible, avoid interstates and major highways that run through medium or large cities. The best example here is I-95. If you plan on driving on I-95 during the holidays, you better be prepared for some downtime. This more so the case in the north than the south. Believe it or not, it’s possible to avoid serious traffic on I-95 in the south. All you need is a little luck, which usually means no accidents or construction. As far as traveling in the north goes, your best bet will be to leave at night. This can cut your trip down by a considerable amount. The only negative is that, other than interstate truckers, the people you find on the interstate at night are not often the best drivers. In some cases, they are either reckless teenagers or drunks. Use caution.
When traveling by road, another good tip is to pack your own sandwiches. Having to stop for lunch can really kill your momentum. If you insist on stopping because your legs will need a rest, or some movement, Subway is always a good idea. But choose the right Subway. When they’re in a gas station, they are not as well kept. The vegetables are not as fresh and the meat looks as though it has been sitting out all day. Finding a stand-alone Subway always gives you a better chance of a good meal. And there is always going to be a gas station nearby.
If you’re traveling with children, a good way to keep them from whining is to buy a backseat television screen. Trust me; it’s worth the investment. It will also last well beyond your road trip. As far as bathroom breaks go, make sure everyone goes even if they tell you they don’t have to go, but if you’re a parent, you already know this.
If you happen to be brave enough to travel by air during the holidays, pay careful attention. First and foremost, get to the airport three hours early. This might sound like a lot of extra time, but when you combine traffic and tight security, it’s actually cutting it close. If you arrive early, sit and read a book or play a game with your kids. Try your best not to bring any carry-on luggage. This can make the difference between a smooth trip and a disaster. If you do bring a carry-on bag, make it small. And when everyone is rushing to leave, take a deep breath and keep reading in your seat. You might be the last one off the plane, but your vacation will begin in an eased state of mind.
If you follow these general rules for holiday travel, you will increase your odds of having a successful and memorable trip.