Whether you’re planning a weekend getaway to the grandparents’ house, or going on an adventure in a new city, these tips will help you get organized while traveling safely (and sanely).
To fly or drive?
Research your options, and do it early, especially if you’re thinking about holiday travel in November or December. Don’t wait until the last minute to book a flight or get your train or bus tickets, in case they sell out early or become expensive as the date of travel draws near. And if you’re driving, you’ll want to review all of your routes to select the one with the least amount of traffic.
When traveling with children, being prepared for anything is the golden rule. Check the traffic before leaving or seeing if your flight, bus or train ride has been delayed. There are a ton of apps that you can download on your phone that will keep you updated as you make your trip from start to finish. If you decide to take your pet, research travel gear and study up on these in 5 Tips for traveling with your dog.
Avoid busy travel dates
You’ll thank yourself for this later! Airports, bus terminals and highways can be a nightmare on Christmas or Thanksgiving Eve. If you have the option, travel a few days prior to a big holiday weekend or school break or a few days after. If you’re looking for airlines deals, consider a website such as Skiplagged. It identifies cheap flights with multi layovers. By exiting the plane in the layover stop you could snag a cheaper flight than if you had flown direct.
Pack smart and light
Stick with the essentials and you will save a ton of time and space. You’ll appreciate this when you have to pack everything for the trip home! (That said, traveling with infants and babies is a different on The Secrets of Traveling Around the World with a Baby on Vogue.com is a helpful resource on how to pack if you’re flying with a baby.)
Above all you don’t want to be ‘hangry’ on your trip! Make sure that you fuel your body properly, especially if you’re going for a long ride. Pack travel-friendly snacks for you and the family to nosh whether you’re in a car, airplane, bus or train. Freeze dried snacks like Crispy Fruit from Crispy Green and trail mixes are always good options because of their long shelf life. Bring extra water bottles or empty refillable water bottles for the airport to stay hydrated during your journey. Recall many restaurants are closed on Sundays in certain areas of the United States.
If you’re planning a long family car trip, read How to survive a family road trip this winter. Make sure you have anti-freeze windshield wiper fluid and ice scrapers. Be ready with snow tires, chains or an SUV vehicle if the region expects snow. And yes, stay fueled! Looking for gas bargains is important but if you’re going through a remote area, don’t pass a chance to fill up.
One of the most overlooked holiday travel tips is to simply sit back, enjoy the ride and relax! Even if your travel plans are delayed, stay calm and do not panic. Keep your cell phone charged so you can keep in contact with family members in case you experience a major delay. Bring an extra, wireless charger in case you’re stranded in an airport and all the outlets are taken. Expect traffic and weather delays. That way, if you experience none, you’ll be in a good mood!