Whether you’re traveling highway, sky, or rails, here are 3 tips for easier holiday travel that will help you navigate smoothly to your destination and allow you to relax with family and friends at the Thanksgiving table.
Things that can fudge your holiday: traffic, airport queues that wrap around the terminal, lost luggage, or worst of all a missed flight. Often with a little planning, these things can be avoided…or at least mitigated.
Avoid checking bags when flying. This saves time and money at the airport. If you’re driving, fewer bags means more space in your vehicle, and the lighter the load, the better the gas mileage.
Checking bags ensures an additional line at the airport, and you risk your luggage not making the trip with you. That can put a damper on any travel, holiday or otherwise. Double damper if you had gifts packed.
Travel with just a carry-on if possible, but be sure to check the airline’s size limitations. Trying to fit a family-sized suitcase into an overhead bin is not worth holding up the flight and drawing scowls from your fellow passengers.
Pack clothes that can be worn more than once. Most pants, especially jeans, are good for multiple wears. Pack light undershirts to wear beneath your blouses and sweaters to keep them fresh, and you can change the look of the same button-down or sweater with a scarf, light vest, or jacket. Planning your outfits ahead of time will help you avoid over-packing.
Rolling your clothes rather than folding takes up less space and makes it easier to travel with a small bag. Packing cubes keep your items sorted and condensed. I traveled with just a weekender bag this summer, and the cubes kept everything in place and tidy.
Pare down your cosmetic bag drastically with a one-compact makeup system. Cream makeup is for all skin types and for all ages, and it travels like a dream. No liquids to leak, and the compact fits in your purse. More on this amazing product here.
Don’t be Hangry
If you enjoy airport restaurants (I do!), arrive extra early to relax and have a light meal before your journey. Resist the urge to have that glass of wine (or any alcoholic bev) until you arrive at your destination. Alcohol contributes to the hydration challenges of air travel.
If you prefer to limit your time in an airport, bring your own snacks. This will save dollars and will keep you from a case of the hangries. Food items allowed by TSA include bread, candy, cereal, cheese, crackers, dried fruit, fresh fruits and vegetables, and nuts. For a full list check the TSA website.
You are allowed to bring “less than 3.4oz” of water, which is not much, so bring an empty water bottle to fill once you’re through security or be prepared to pay $5-$10 for bottled water at the airport. It’s a steep price to pay for water, but trust me, staying hydrated while traveling will keep you thinking sharp, feeling good, and looking good! A small cooler of snacks and water in the car is just as necessary.
Driving: Avoid traveling the day before Thanksgiving, especially between the hours of 3-7pm. Early morning is best on Wednesday, and if your distance allows, early morning on Thanksgiving day is even better.
Flying: Arrange your ground transportation ahead of time. If Steve Martin and John Candy taught us anything, it’s that your ground game is key once you arrive at your destination!
If someone is picking you up at the airport, send a quick text or calendar invite before your flight reminding them of your landing time and yes, which airport you’re flying into. Many cities have more than one airport, and wires can be crossed regarding regional airports in rural areas as well.
Know your hotel’s shuttle policy. Do they make periodic rounds or do you need to contact them when you land? This is also a safety issue when arriving or departing early morning or late night. Add the hotel phone number to your cell for easy access.
These 3 tips for easier holiday travel should make for a less stressful, dare I say stress-free, Thanksgiving. Travel safely, and enjoy that turkey!
Gobble gobble, y’all!