Thinking Out Loud

Top 5 Survival Holiday Travel Tips

By Theagarajan_CML

If you’re not already accustomed with traveling during the holiday season, the first thing you’ll have to realize is that the majority of travelers aren’t either. Before you get too frustrated getting caught in exorbitant lines and hectic traffic, here are five survival holiday travel tips that might keep you from a snowman-like meltdown.

1)Download a traffic/travel app: I really like Waze for current traffic updates. Waze will map out the shortest route according to current traffic conditions and redirect you if there’s any major hold-ups. It will also point out where police are hiding in case you’re crusin’ a bit too fast. Oh and most importantly…it’s FREE. Another rockin’ travel app is GateGuru which gives you the approximate time you’ll spend in security at whichever airport you’re flying out of (along with other helpful airport tips).

2)Travel on low or off peak days: The day before Thanksgiving is understandably the heaviest travel day. If you’re able, try picking an early flight on Thanksgiving morning instead to avoid the crowds and intense security checks.

3)Wrap gifts after you arrive: If you’re planning on taking wrapped gifts with you to your destination, try wrapping all your gifts after you arrive instead of before. In some instances, particularly in busier airports with an added heightened security status, TSA may need to inspect your packages by unwrapping them. Total bummer if you’re like me and take a significant amount of time with wrapping. So do yourself a great favor and wrap later.

4)Know your airports: This comes in use particularly if you have a layover longer than a couple of hours. For instance, I’ll be traveling to the far east early next year and with three layovers over eight hours you bet your booty I did my research on what each airport has to offer! Showers, sleeping quarters, laundry services, entertainment and FREE wifi are at the TOP of my list. Some airports have great transportation into nearby city centers for those that have dreadfully long stopovers. I’d say if you have more than seven hours it might be worth venturing outside if there’s a nearby city center with reliable public transportation.

5)Know your destination & point of connection if traveling internationally: This wasn’t something I thought about until recently and it seems to be important even when traveling internationally. When going through customs be sure you at least have an address of where you’re going to be staying (or think you’re staying) along with a contact person at your destination if possible. Several friends of mine experienced long security old ups while visiting me in London when they didn’t have my exact address.

Even the simplest things can help you avoid extra holiday headaches. If you go into it with an expectation that nothing will be perfect…you might actually enjoy your holiday travels!

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