The holly jolly holidays may look like cheer and goodwill on paper, but the underlying chaos of long waiting lines, last-minute packing, fully booked air seats, and more can get just a little stressful to the average traveler. It always pays to think ahead and be prepared for whatever kinds of obstacles that may stand in your way on the actual travel date.
Here are a few tips to remember and act on before your big holiday adventure.
Monitor weather forecast - know the common natural disasters of your destination through online news and local radio systems. Sign up for travel alerts, which are tailored to your preference, sent directly via email. Maximize your use of social media - follow airlines and airport’s social media accounts for up-to-the-minute updates like Facebook and Twitter. If you’re driving, do a maintenance check. Carry with you an actual foldable map (just in case your digital map fails).
With today’s digital world, almost everything runs on a battery. Devices like smartphones, laptops, music players, and e-readers are saving graces, especially on tedious and long travels. But without a full charge level, you might find yourself lugging around a useless piece of plastic that won’t be able to distract you from the nearly unbearable hours waiting at the airport or on the go. Always charge your devices to full at least several hours before your trip and avoid overusing them to the point of full battery drainage.
Have a plan B, C, D…
Consider taking a train, rebooking a flight, knowing the area you’ll be visiting, and all of the nearby accommodations. Even the most well-thought-out of plans can crumble from one or two mid-travel mishaps or unlucky instances, so having an alternate route or plan can keep your journey moving no matter what. Lots of research and presence of mind is needed to think up of great alternatives for every situation that arises. Never lose your cool and always think one or two steps ahead.
Save more by packing snacks such as granola bars, nuts, and sandwiches since the food at airports or bus terminals can be quite pricey. If you’re taking the plane, forget lugging around liquids and instead bring an empty water bottle which you can refill after passing the security check. To travel means to deal with the unexpected, so make sure to pack one extra set of clothing in your carry-on. Don’t forget your first aid kit including your prescription medications and a flashlight. But most of all, consider traveling light so you can move without anything literally weighing you down.
Dress practically - wear clothes that make moving easy while still being suitable for the weather. Keep a list of emergency contact numbers. Be aware of your surroundings – stairs, elevator, exits, fire exits, automated teller machines. Always keep sight of your belongings. Have two copies of your important travel documents and keep them organized in one container(pouch, wallet organizer, etc.) but in separate pockets. In some places where credit cards are not accepted, make sure to have bills ready for paying or for exchanging to the local currency. Get travel insurance that’s designed to your trip type and duration. Ask but be cautious, watch safety videos, and finally, enjoy the adventure!
Once you’ve passed the worst of the holiday rush, you’ll be free to enjoy your days off with family and friends. You’ll definitely enjoy the feeling of relaxation from your usual worries and stress-filled thoughts when you know you’re prepped for anything.