Family travel tips
Survival Tips for Holiday Travel
Article originally written on May 2, 2014. Updated on Aug 6, 2019.
When it’s vacation season for you, it’s usually vacation season for everyone else too. The rest of your family. Your neighbors. That guy at work you don’t really know but always greet anyway. During the holidays, everyone is going on vacation or traveling somewhere for something. Because of that, traveling with your family can be a bit stressful. But fear not! We’ve got some quick tips to help you make your holiday travel experience as slick as those icy roads you’re coming to Florida to avoid.
Whether you’re driving or flying, doing your research ahead of time can help you avoid some major headaches. Get around traffic jams by opting for the scenic route, and perhaps break up the trip by finding some interesting places to bring the family along the way. If you’re flying, the last thing you want to do is arrive at the airport and discover you have some fees to pay, or that you have to unpack your entire carry-on because your toothpaste tube is an inch too long. Save yourself time, trouble and money by knowing the regulations of your airline ahead of time.
Charge your batteries.
Ok…this one has double significance. First…get some rest! Try to log at least 8 hours of decent shut-eye before you hit the road (or air). Traveling can make us cranky anyway. Don’t compound it by not getting enough sleep the night before.
Second…literally charge your batteries! Make sure your phone has enough juice and that the iPad, iPod or other iThing has plenty of battery life to keep the kids occupied until you arrive at your destination.
Survival Tips for Holiday Travel
On certain trips, especially ones were you’re trapped in the confines of a small car or a packed airplane for a long time, the best way to tune out is well…tunes. Bring along a good pair of headphones, and suggest the same to the kids. It will allow everyone to pass the time more quickly and enjoy their own music or movie during a long trip. Just remember, no headphones if you’re the one driving!
Travel at the right time.
This means pick the right day and the right TIME of day to travel. Common practice is to travel a few days before a given holiday to arrive in time, right? Well, if you choose instead to travel early on the actual day of the holiday, you’ll be avoiding long lines at the airport and mind-numbing traffic jams.
Also, if you’re flying, pick the earliest possible flight. Cancellations are (regrettably) pretty common, and you’ll up your chances of getting on a later flight if you give yourself plenty of time to spare. For road trips, a good rule of thumb is to leave when everyone else is asleep, either very early, or very late. This will leave you nothing but miles and miles of beautiful, open road.
Find the humor.
Holiday travel almost never goes perfectly, but no family is perfect and that’s what makes vacations so special. We have stories to tell when we do get where we’re going. So whether you have the fortune of sitting next the world’s most talkative person on your flight, or your flight gets cancelled, or your son or daughter drinks too much soda and has to stop 37 times during a road trip, try to see those stressful moments as just another funny part of a great family vacation.
Do you have any holiday survival tips that you’d add to this list?