Enjoying holiday cheer can be a bit difficult when you’re in the middle of an overcrowded airport, running to catch a flight that you didn’t know the gate for had changed. Thankfully, you can make your holiday travel a bit less stressful with the help of a few simple tips to streamline the process of getting from point A to point B, so that you can focus on what really matters – spending the season with your loved ones.
Perfect Your Carry-On
Having the perfect carry-on for travel means two things: packing light, and packing for TSA. In terms of packing light, the key here is to make sure that you’re not keeping yourself bogged down by unnecessarily heavy bags while you’re trying to navigate an already crazy-crowded airport. Do this by thinking critically about everything you’re putting in your bag and being smart about what makes the cut. You want outfit options, yes, but are you really going to wear every outfit you’ve packed? Probably not. Take things that you probably won’t use out, and same goes for things that you can probably grab at your destination if need be. As for packing for TSA, be sure to make the security check as easy as possible by keeping your laptop and liquids, which need to be removed from your bag when it goes through the scanner, at the top of your bag for easy access.
Splurge for Direct Flights
While it’s not always possible to snag a direct flight during the holidays, it’s always worth a little splurge when you can. The holidays are crazy when it comes to travel, which inevitably means that the chances of having your luggage lost in the shuffle of flight transfers or having to get bumped because of an overbooked flight go up tremendously between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. Save yourself the stress of worrying about whether your trip will go smoothly or not by opting for a one-shot flight if you can.
One of the biggest stressors when it comes to holiday travel is the rise of unexpected delays and changes in itinerary. Make sure that you are totally up-to-date with your flight details by downloading different apps on your phone that will keep you in the loop. This includes something like Flight Status, which not only keeps you posted about delays and departure times for most flights, but also lets you know gate numbers and the carousel that you can pick your luggage up at after your flight. Another option is Gate Guru, which also keeps you updated on flight info and serves as a useful guide to most airports, with information on everything from where to eat to where to find the nearest restroom.
Delays or flight changes are stressful enough on a good day, let alone when you’re already a bit stressed out from traveling during the most hectic time of the year. While you can’t control unexpected changes at the airport, you can at least make sure that you’re not tackling them on an empty stomach. Make sure to always have a little arsenal of healthy snacks on hand – nuts, popcorn, granola bars, or fruit are all great options – so that you can be sure to stay fueled up throughout your trip, regardless of what it throws at you.
Have Your Boarding Pass on Your Phone
You always want to minimize the number of things that you’re trying to keep track of when you’re traveling during the holidays, since chances are that you have a million things on your mind already and even just one less is a help. Instead of having to hold on to a physical boarding pass, opt for a mobile version, which most airlines offer right through their app to make things easier at check-in and throughout your journey. You can even go one step further by actually taking a screenshot of the mobile boarding pass so that you don’t have to worry about waiting for an app to load anytime that you need to pull it up.
Have trouble sleeping when you’re not in your own bed? No worries! Pack a few bottles of reBloom in your suitcase to ensure you sleep well and enjoy every day of your vacation.