It’s time to gear up for the holiday season! With the New Year comes holiday shopping, family gatherings and lots of travel. The seasonal change can be fun and memorable but also stressful, especially if you will be flying overseas. With a heightened stress level, travelers are even more susceptible to getting sick. Here are a few tips to keep you looking forward to stress-free, healthy holiday travel:
#1 Plan ahead!
Of course this is an obvious solution, but it is the first tip for a reason. Planning ahead can mean getting the flight you need and not having to paying double the price. Or spending time with your family and not hundreds of other strangers in the car-rental line. Map out every step of your journey, big and small, and then ensure you have transportation coordinated as needed.
#2 Give yourself a buffer.
We aren’t referring to splurging on a holiday gift for your car. We mean realistically estimate travel time and even over-estimate to be safe. There will be an abundance of people-everywhere. Take this into account when mapping out how long you need to get from point A to point B. Missing a flight or having a taxi wait too long can be costly and stressful. Will you be doing a lot of driving? Download an app like waze to your phone to help cut down on navigation blunders and getting stuck in traffic.
#3 Don’t wait until it’s too late.
Purchase your Trip Cancellation Insurance before your trip. For a short holiday trip the insurance cost can be reasonable, and usually cost less than you would spend if you get caught in a situation without it. Don’t let a missed connection ruin your journey.
#4 Label your luggage.
Putting a rare ribbon, scarf or luggage tag on your bag will help you quickly identify it and keep others from mistaking it for their own. Also, make sure you have a tag with contact information on both the outside and inside of your bag. In the event of lost luggage this will make the process run as smooth as possible when trying to retrieve it, especially if the outside tag is ripped off en route.
#5 Think of your carry on as your emergency kit.
If you have kids make sure you bring plenty of toys and snacks to keep them content on a long journey. It’s best to also pack computer and phone chargers here in the event that travel arrangements don’t pan out as they should. To keep yourself and others in tip-top health while in close quarters, toss in hand sanitizer, water and a box of tissues.
#6 Enjoy your time.
Although your trip has a destination, the journey before you arrive is part of the experience. You might as well take advantage of this time. Bring along a favorite magazine, book or play list and simply enjoy. Being relaxed will aid in giving you a fair chance at healthy holiday travel this year.
Have a hang-up while on your trip? Don’t get discouraged or stressed out, it will only snowball the situation. Stay polite and put your energy towards finding a solution.
*Baggage reclaim at the airport photo courtesy of Shutterstock.