Traveling for the holidays isn’t known for being a popular pastime. The lines are long, the weather is cold, and despite the holly jolly, tempers can run high. But if you follow some of the tips below, you might just take a little of the sting out of the headache of holiday travel.
1. Manage your expectations.
That’s right, acceptance is the first step. Going into your holiday travel plans knowing that it will be a challenge and probably pretty unpleasant will prepare you for the worst, but also be a welcome surprise if it turns out to be better than expected. If you’re going somewhere you look forward to, try to keep your eyes on the prize and the little hiccups along the way won’t matter so much.
2. Start your holiday travel early.
The earliest flights in the morning have the least chance of delay. While it’s no fun to wake up long before the sun and head to the airport, it could mean getting to your destination right on time, which always feels like a win. Taking the earliest flights also means much less traffic on the roads getting to the airport. Plus, getting to your destination earlier in the day means more time enjoying where you’re going in the first place.
3. Plan your trip in advance.
As long as you’re looking at early flights, you might go ahead and book now. There aren’t a lot of last-minute deals for planning your trip in December so the sooner the better. While you’re at it, reserve your parking spot at the airport in the garage at the same time to ensure you have the spot you’d like as well as the knowledge your car won’t be snowed in when you go to retrieve it!
If you need assistance with your car at the airport, call (937) 898-1555.
4. Make sure to pack the right things.
In case there are delays, make sure to pack a water bottle (empty at first) to refill at our convenient water bottle refill stations. Traveling with kids? Pack their favorite snacks and plenty of activities they like to do. You’ll need some entertainment too, so make sure you pack your chargers (there are plenty of outlets for you to use at the airport). For the flight itself, you’ll want to make sure you have a book, newspaper, magazine, knitting project, or any number of non-electronic activities.
5. And don’t pack the gifts.
If at all possible, avoid packing your gifts. Not only do they take up valuable real estate in your luggage, but they also may need to be unwrapped by TSA. Rather than lugging them around in your bags, consider shipping them to your destination. Or gift cards are always nice, and much easier to pack.
6. Stay organized.
Download your airline’s mobile app for real time updates on your flights. Have all of the addresses, information, and phone numbers on your phone as well as offline, maybe in a small notebook. There’s nothing worse than fumbling around in your luggage trying to retrieve a wad of various printed out information, only to realize what you need is still in your email… and your phone is dead. Getting it all together ahead of time will make getting to your destination that much more streamlined.