Ultimate Christmas Travel Tips 2019
If you’re traveling during the holiday season, you need to realize that most people in the world will do too. But don’t let the expensive airfare, terrible drivers, and long lines at the airports get you down. We’re giving you tips to survive the holiday travel season without an Olaf meltdown.
Whether you’re traveling to see family at Christmas or heading abroad for a magical winter break, these travel tips will help you make the most of your festive holiday.
Plan in Advance
You’ll have a more hassle-free – and considerably cheaper – Christmas holiday if you plan and book your transport well in advance. The airfare is much less expensive if you will book them weeks or even months ahead. Fares are likely to increase the closer it gets to Christmas and those who have left it too late may end up paying super expensive airfare. The chance of flights becoming full is also higher at this time of year so make sure you secure the dates you want ahead of the masses.
Also, if it’s not too hassle for you, try choosing flights that are early or late in the day. Flight statistics show that planes traveling earlier in the day have a better on-time performance. There will also be fewer lines at security.
Remember the Basics
Passport? Check. Visa? Check. Necessary documents? Check. Make your travel checklists, check them once, twice, thrice, check them as many times as it takes to ensure you don’t end up presenting an expired passport at airport check-in.
If it is valid, then be aware that some destinations require you to have at least six months on it. Otherwise, you may celebrate the holidays at immigration. Visa requirements can be tricky too, so organize necessary paperwork before you leave the house and make any required arrangements before flying.
Plan Connecting Flights Cautiously
If you’re booking with an online, look at layover times carefully. You need to make sure you have sufficient time to make any connecting flights, factoring in possible delays. Booking direct flights may cost a bit more money but offers you the added peace of mind. You don’t want to spend Christmas stranded in the airport terminal by yourself!
Print All the Necessary Documents
Print out your boarding pass, the name and address of your hotel and everything you else that you need to print out to avoid looking like an awkward tourist at the terminal taxi rank or in the airport.
Nothing turns pleasant liveliness into festive despair like an excess baggage charge at the airport. Book your extra baggage online if it looks like you’ll need it.
Also, if you’ll bring gifts, don’t wrap them yet until you arrive at your destination. There would be a chance they will be unwrapped in case of some random security check.
Remember the Rules in Bringing Your Luggage
Remember the rules about liquids in hand luggage, which 100ml is the maximum. Party poppers and fireworks may be part of your usual Christmas celebrations, but they won’t be permitted on planes. Many airlines don’t allow Christmas crackers either, so double check before you fly.
Think of the Weather of Your Destination
Bring the necessary clothes. If you’re going to a tropical country, you don’t need to bring any winter clothes and if you’re going somewhere in winter, be sure to bring some winter clothes to avoid the panic-buying of clothes.
Embrace Local Traditions
Christmas Day in the Philippines is primarily a family affair. The Misa de Gallo is celebrated on December 25 and is usually one of several Masses that all family members (including non-churchgoers) are present. In Italy, it means candlelight and delightful panettone. If you’re traveling to the southern hemisphere, December is a summer month – so Christmas Day is often marked in Australia with a barbie on the beach! Research Christmas in your destination before you leave so you know what to expect, and what to bring with you.
Winter-Proof and Burglar-Proof Your Home if You Are Going Away
If you’re going away for any length of time during the winter, avoid burst pipes by keeping the heating on at around 10C for a few hours a day (or use the “holiday” setting on a modern programmable thermostat). If you’re going away for more than a couple of days it might be a good idea to leave a key with a trusted neighbor so they can check on your home from time to time – make sure they know where your stop valve is in case of emergency!
Also, avoid making your house look empty. Cancel the milk and newspaper rations. Set automatic lights if you have them.
And again, ask a friendly, trusted neighbor to keep an eye on the place and perhaps go in to open and close the curtains.
If You are Travelling with Kids…Keep in mind these tips…
Tips for Traveling with Kids
Traveling can be a headache, especially when it’s done with kids. Long plane rides or car rides can make any child restless, thereby making your trip miserable. It doesn’t have to be. Here are some tips to use to try to make traveling with tots a bit better:
Tip #1 – Plan ahead.
Last-minute, spontaneous car rides don’t work when there are children involved. Plan your route and plan for frequent stops, too. Children need to get out and run around at least once an hour to stretch out their legs. If your child isn’t old enough to walk yet, get them out of the car seat for a little bit anyway.
Tip #2 – Prepare yourself.
Children have smaller bladders than you do, so they need to go more often. They also tend to ask a lot of questions, and noise is inevitable for them.
Don’t act surprised when you have to answer a lot of questions and make more stops than you anticipated. Keep your sanity by preparing yourself for these things before the trip.
Tip#3 – For long trips in a car or plane, bring along some new toys for them to play with.
Handheld video games are good time killers for older children, and some travel games are suitable for the younger ones.
Avoid books and coloring books because they can cause car-sickness. Infants aren’t immune to boredom either, so make sure they have new squishy things to hold or a rattle to shake. Switch off every so often to maintain their interest.
Tip #4 – Don’t forget the snacks.
Children get bored on long trips and tend to get hungry quite often. Have some tasty, healthy snacks handy to dole out at these times to save you from having to make yet another stop and spending a lot more money for meals at a gas station.
Tip #5 – Recruit reinforcements if you can.
Invite friends or other family members along on your trip. They may be able to keep your kids busy while you get a few moments here and there for yourself, so you can recuperate and refresh your mind.
Tip #6 – Space out your activities.
If you’re traveling with young children, don’t try to jam a day’s worth of activities for them in only a few hours. This will only exhaust them and cause them to be irritable and grumpy. Give them time to do what they want as well, even if that means some time at a video arcade.
Tip #7 – Try to keep as much of their regular routine as possible.
There’s nothing wrong with letting your kids stay up a little later while you’re on vacation, but don’t let them stay up for hours longer every night. This will only cause more trouble when you get back home.
Traveling with children can be a very exhausting task for your mind and body, but try to keep these tips in mind to help ease the process. Think of the trip through the eyes of your children, and don’t expect them to act and react the same as you. It will only make your trip miserable.
Traveling at one of the busiest times of the year can be stressful, with jam-packed airports, congested roads, over expensive airfares, hotel bookings, and rental cars. Luckily, here are our tips to prevent anything ruining your festive cheer.
Happy Travel and Happy Holidays!