Another week closer to Christmas and another Christmas post! I don’t know about you but I cannot wait for Christmas, I still have yet to buy presents for the family so i’m little stressed out about that but besides that our home is all holiday ready! We put up our tree today, finished decorating the lawn and have just sent out our Christmas cards:)
I remember last year that we went to North Carolina to spend Christmas with my sister and I remember how stressful traveling during this time was. With flights being cancelled and luggages being lost that is the last thing you want to have to deal with! That is why for todays post I wanted to share with you my TOP tips & tricks for easy and stress free traveling during the Holidays!
Holidays at Home
- Host a potluck – Instead of tackling the stress of cooking a big holiday meal all by yourself, dish out some of the responsibility to make it more enjoyable for everyone. Encourage guests to bring an entree, side or dessert they could not imagine their holidays without. Not only will everyone be satisfied, but it also will spark conversation on favorite holiday traditions. Even more, the sharing will take quite a bit of weight off your wallet.
- Drink lots of water- We all know the feeling of having one too many cookies off the dessert tray. To prevent the uncomfortably full feeling of overeating, drink lots of water before, during and after your holiday meals and gatherings. An added bonus, sugary and alcoholic drinks are nearly always at hand this time of year, so alternating with glasses of water will keep meals healthier and you feeling better today and tomorrow!
- Embrace the busy – To most, the holidays and chaos are synonymous. Instead of stressing over not being able to achieve it all, embrace the busyness. Time in the car traveling from one gathering to the next shouldn’t be seen as time lost, but rather a great time to bond with family and friends. Similarly, view tasks such as shopping and cooking as yet another opportunity to spend valuable quality time with those you love. Sometimes the best memories are made when running from one thing to the next; cherish all the time you spend together — even in the busiest moments — to make your holiday merrier.
- Plan ahead- The best way to make the holidays more relaxing is to plan ahead — use this holiday season as a starting block. If you try a new recipe that friends and family loved, print it off and put it in the box of house decorations so you have it on hand for next year. Save packaging from this year’s presents and reduce, reuse, recycle in the years to come. And when you take your holiday lights down for the season, wrap them around a piece of cardboard to avoid a tangled mess next time. A little planning this season will make next year easier than ever!
- Avoid peak travel dates. At Christmas and New Year’s, the peak holiday travel dates change each year depending on which days the holidays fall. You can generally guess which dates will be the most expensive for travel (consider which travel days would allow you to maximize long weekends without taking too many days off work — and that’s probably when everyone will want to go). If you’re not sure, use a search engine that lets you put in flexible travel dates; these will show you which date combinations will give you the best deal.
- Shop around. Whether you’re using booking sites like Expedia or metasearch sites such as Kayak, comparison shopping has never been easier than it is right now. During holiday travel season, casting the net as wide as possible will help you understand all of your options.
- Know your airports. Checking alternate airports is a pretty standard tactic, but during holiday travel it can really make a difference. At no time can the alternate airport gambit pay off better than during the holiday crush. You can score on almost every front — parking, rental cars, traffic to and from, nearby hotels — and save both time and money. Keep in mind that smaller airports see fewer flights and, typically, fewer delays — not a minor consideration during the busy holiday travel season.
- Plot connections carefully. When booking flights, check your search results carefully for sufficient time during layovers, and build in some time for flight delays and weather woes. Particularly during the winter months, peak travel times often bring peak travel delays, and your connection is more likely to be jeopardized. Avoiding really tight connections might save you a sprint through the terminal or a missed flight. Also, it is best if you can muscle your flight path into position so that connections are in places less likely to experience delays — specifically, airports in warmer climates.
- Leave early. During peak travel times, much of the trouble you’ll face lies on this side of the security check-in, from traffic jams and full parking lots to absent shuttles and long lines. Rather than striving to “arrive at the airport early,” you may want to try to “leave for the airport early” to anticipate all the peripheral delays you may encounter.
- Pack wisely. In the past, you may have been able to fit everything into your carry-on without having to check any baggage — a strategy we still recommend. However, the TSA rules about liquids and gels make this a trickier proposition. For the record, you may bring liquids and gels in 3.4-ounce or smaller containers, packed within a single, quart-size, zip-top, clear plastic bag. You’re also allowed to bring any liquids (such as coffee or water) or gels purchased after you go through a security checkpoint onto your plane with you. If you want to bring more than the 3.4-ounce amount, you’ll have to pack the items in your checked luggage. The Carry-On Challenge: How to Pack Light Every Time.
- Take advantage of shortcuts. The latest self-service developments in online travel can be tremendous time-savers during peak travel times. Whenever possible, print your boarding passes at home or pull up your boarding pass on your smartphone. If you buy most of your gifts online, have them shipped directly to your destination. This will cut down on luggage and the risk of them getting lost.
- Travel early or late in the day. As a rule, airports are least congested at times when normal human beings would rather be at home or even asleep. Delays are far less likely for morning flights, and airports usually unclog as the afternoon and evening peak passes.
- Gas up the night before you travel; no one leaves enough time for buying gas on the way to the airport.
- Investigate your frequent flier options to get better (and better guaranteed) seats.
- Choose nonstop flights. The worst, most brutal delays occur in connecting airports, where you have no home, friends or family to retreat to. I can speak from experience when I say try to choose nonstop flights. We lost out luggage on one of the one stop fights and it was terrible!
- Do not wrap gifts, especially if you intend to carry them on the plane. Even in checked baggage, there is a strong chance they will be unwrapped for inspection by security personnel. Consider gift bags instead of wrapping paper— you can easily remove the items from their bags if required, and you won’t have to do a last-minute wrapping job at your destination.
- Give your cell phone a full charge, and download your airline’s app so you’ll get alerts if your flight is delayed or your gate changes
- Check out Town and country mag for some more great tips and tricks
- I know this post was just listing tips but sometimes I think those are the best. These tips & tricks are right at your fingertips for easy access and I hope they help you! If you have any questions regarding these or anything else comment below and I will respond. Also, if you’re new follow my blog and join me on my blogging journey.
These hacks are not mine I found them from another site
I found the Traveling hacks on Smart Travel
and I cannot find the site where I found the Holidays at Home hacks but once I do I will update my post
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