Tips for less stressful holiday travel

As the holiday season is upon us, it can be a stressful time for many, including for those traveling to visit family and friends. Follow these tips below to help make your holiday travel less stressful. See your mid-week News for other tips, along with more holiday fun in each edition of The Bowie News in November.

Tips for less stressful holiday travel

Roadways, railways and skies tend to get busy come the holiday season, when millions of people across the globe travel to visit family and friends.
Wherever travelers are headed, be it across the country or across the world, they should realize that many other people are traveling as well. That can lead to traffic, long lines and other side effects associated with large crowds. But before travelers let the idea of challenging travel conditions deter them, they can consider certain ways to make the process of getting from point A to point B a bit more manageable.

Travel by car

Those traveling by automobile will have a few extra steps to take to ensure their trips go off with minimal disturbances. One of the more important steps is to ensure the vehicle is properly maintained prior to departing. Have the car checked by a mechanic and take care of any service appointments, such as oil changes or tire rotations.
Map out the route in advance and have an alternative plan if the route chosen proves to be too congested. One idea is to choose a scenic drive that may be a little longer but has less traffic. In addition, account for rest stops or points of interest that can break up the trip. Apps such as GasBuddy can help drivers find the cheapest gas or the cleanest bathrooms along their routes.
Bring along plenty of snacks so you can eat healthy and arenÕt forced to rely on foods you otherwise would not eat. This is particularly helpful with keeping kids satiated. Plan for a few treats along the way so that everyone traveling has an end goal, such as an ice cream or a souvenir.

Traveling by plane

One of the key things air travelers can do to make holiday traveling easier is to avoid peak travel dates. Whenever possible, avoid traveling the day right before the holiday, which tends be the busiest and most expensive. Remember, weekends tend to be more harried and expensive as well, particularly when the holidays fall in close proximity to a weekend.
Weather is a gamble in many regions of the world during the holiday season. Develop a contingency plan just in case foul weather delays or cancels flights. ItÕs much less stressful to put plan B into motion than it can be to rush around trying to make new, last-minute plans.
Always shop around for the best rates, but also the best atmosphere. It may be wiser to fly out of a smaller airport where crowds will be thinner and delays less frequent, or you may prefer a larger airport thatÕs closer to home and offers more amenities.
Another way to avoid delays is to pack minimally. Ship gifts and even travel essentials ahead to your destination, and only bring carry-on bags aboard the plane. This helps travelers sail through security checks and avoid the crowds at the luggage carousels.
Holiday travel requires planning, patience and having alternative plans in place so that everyone can make it home for the holidays.  TF169407