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10 Travel Planning Tips for the Holidays

While Christmas may be “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” for those who need to travel during this time, it can also be the most stressful time of year. A travel organization app is a handy tool to help throughout the holidays. With everyone booking flights and planning road trips, there are bound to be a lot of unexpected delays, cancellations, difficulties, and general chaos.

The pandemic added a whole new layer of turmoil to what was already an unpredictable experience. While Covid’s greatest period of devastation seems to be in the rearview mirror, it is still out there – it doesn’t take a medical expert to know that contagion feeds on amassed numbers. 

Experts predict that with the majority of COVID restrictions lifted, travel numbers will far exceed those of the past two years, closer to 2019 numbers.    

With everyone scrambling about like a kicked anthill, trying to reach their families, vacation locations, or other destinations, those who have planned ahead have the greatest chance for success. 

Here are some great tips to help you have the smoothest and most low-stress holiday traveling season possible. 

  • Research COVID Restrictions

Just because many covid restrictions have been lifted, that doesn’t mean that they all have. Make sure to diligently research any restrictions you may face at stops along the way and the final destination itself, especially if you are traveling to a different country. 

Forewarned is forearmed, so the expression goes, and being prepared for any unexpected kinks in your travel plans is a great way to prevent delays or unfortunate consequences.

  • Book Tickets Early

Don’t let procrastination be the reason why you are unable to catch the flight you needed. Take the extra time to plan your trip as much as possible, especially when it comes to flight times and the expected date of arrival at your final destination. 

As soon as you have hammered down these details, the power is really in your hands. Knowing these details in advance will allow you to choose less expensive flights and, of course, gives you the pick of the litter when it comes to flights that work best with your schedule before they fill up. 

One little caveat – if your travel does not require you to be at a specific place before the holiday, you can often save a lot of money on tickets by booking your flight on the holiday itself. This is great if your family chooses to celebrate the holiday after the calendar day or if you are traveling for vacation purposes.  

  • Schedule Extra Travel Time

No matter how well-prepared you are, some occurrences are simply out of your control. From unexpected weather phenomena to accidents on the freeway, there are a plethora of natural and human-centric events that may cause delays or cancellations along the way. 

Whether you are traveling by air or road, schedule extra time to compensate for anything that might slow you down. If everything goes smoothly, then you have extra time to enjoy your family or the sights at your vacation destination. If not, you still have the opportunity to enjoy the full holiday experience as scheduled.

  • Pack Lightly and Effectively

If possible, try to limit your baggage to carry-on luggage when flying as this can prevent you from facing long luggage check lines and will allow you to keep your belongings on you at all times. 

Be aware of what you truly need by taking the extra time to think through your traveling. Check weather conditions to determine which clothes will be most appropriate during this time; it’s also a good idea to have some Covid masks on hand to protect yourself and your family. 

Bring Snacks

Whether traveling by plane, bus, or car, having snacks and water bottles on hand can be a lifesaver. If you experience delays, it can provide food and drink when there is no other way to access them. 

Plus, it can keep you on the road longer without having to stop if there’s a case of munchies. 

If nothing else, snacks in airports are exorbitantly priced, so you can save yourself from taking that bullet with backup rations. 

6) Pre-load Electronics

If you experience downtime, or especially if you are traveling with children, make sure to load up phones, tablets, and other relevant devices with entertaining content. Internet service may not always be available, but anyone with kids knows the value of peace when they are engaged. 

On that note – make sure that all electronic devices are charged in advance. If you have a battery pack or other charge-on-the-fly device, this can be worth its weight in gold. 

7) Gifts on the Fly

Taking pre-wrapped gifts along can be a major problem when trying to transverse airport security. If personnel feel like there’s reason to investigate any package, it’s going to be opened. 

This is unfortunate for many reasons, but there are ways to avoid it. 

One way is to simply ship gifts to your destination in advance through the mail. You will want to plan this as early as possible to avoid the detriments of holiday shipping, and it will likely be an added expense, but who can put a price on peace of mind? 

If this is not an option, leave the gifts unwrapped and take them through security that way, then have a time planned to wrap them upon arrival at your final destination.

8) Get There Early

What good is booking a flight in advance, following these tips, and readying yourself for the perfect trip if you miss the plane or bus? 

No matter whether it’s arriving at the airport, attending a museum, or scheduled dining at a restaurant – get there early. 

You already know that it’s a busy time of year, and no matter how well you have organized your itinerary, if you do not schedule extra time to compensate for crowds, traffic, or the unexpected, you are going to miss out on some great memories. 

9) Go Somewhere Else

If you’re on a personal vacation or have the power to make decisions on where your family will enjoy the holidays, go somewhere that fewer people are going. 

With advanced planning, you can determine which destinations are hot spots and which are expecting fewer arrivals in a given year. That does not mean that you have to settle for some dismal, unpleasant location – just look for appealing locales that are experiencing a down surge at the moment. 

Doing so will not only enable you to save money on ticket prices but will hopefully cut down on crowds and wait times at your chosen locale.  

10) Find Your Inner Zen

The holidays are supposed to be fun. The best time of the year, remember? 

. . . Remember? 

The point is, you are likely to encounter any number of problems during your travel and they are likely to put a damper on your holiday or vacation spirit. 

Plan for this, too! 

Think about things that bring you joy, whether music, certain foods, particular people, etc. Bring those things along if possible, and if you’re feeling stressed, call up that person that can always bring you out of a funk. 

Have a backup plan to ensure that you enjoy this experience, especially if you’re traveling with your family. A backup plan planned through Bublup.com can be ready whenever. There’s always the old Emerson adage – 

It’s not the destination, but the journey.

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