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3 Tips to Take the Chaos Out of Holiday Travel

‘Tis the season for holiday travel.

Can you smell it? That’s mom’s turkey roasting in the oven. Oh, and is that pumpkin pie for dessert? You can taste it, can’t you? But none of that matters if you never make it home for the holidays. Remember that movie with that woman who’s trying to get home for a festive dinner with her family but her flight gets canceled? She’s stranded at the airport and tries to rent a car instead, but there are none left. You don’t want to be that person, do you?

holiday travel

Follow these handy tips to make sure your holiday travel plans go smoothly.

1. Check in with Mother Nature

No matter how you’re getting to where you’re going, the weather plays a very important role. If there’s a snowstorm, accidents happen on highways, causing traffic to back up. Flights get rescheduled—or worse. And even the most reliable trains and buses get delayed. Be sure to start checking the weather and road reports days in advance of your planned holiday travel schedule. Have alternate plans in place in case of a service disruption with your preferred mode of transportation.

2. Find Out if There are Any Gift Guidelines for Your Flights

There is nothing worse than finding out at the security gate that the bath bubbles you bought for your Auntie Sandra aren’t allowed in your carry-on…and don’t even get me started on that cap gun you thought would be so cool for your nephew. It may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised some of the things you’ll forget in the holiday travel chaos. It’s inevitable that something will slip through the cracks, like that bottle of whisky you got for your pops. Save yourself the grief and check the TSA for holiday packing tips. Find out what you can—and cannot—bring on board the plane, as well as any gift-wrapping guidelines.

3. Leave Plenty of Time

Set your alarm an hour earlier than normal…and don’t hit the snooze button. And if you simply can’t resist falling back asleep, set your clock an hour ahead and have the alarm come on at your regular time. Do whatever you need to do so that you’re not racing against the clock. Nothing good ever comes of it: You forget things, get sweaty running around like a chicken with your head cut off, and feel frazzled. It’s not the best way to start the holidays. You’ll be irritable before you even arrive, and we all know spending time with family can be frustrating at the best of times—no matter how much we love them. But perhaps the biggest reason to leave yourself a little extra time is that you won’t have to drive like a maniac to make up for lost time. At the end of the day, the most important thing about holiday travel is that you arrive alive.

These are just a few help holiday travel tips. What other advice do you have for fellow travelers? Share your ideas with the Wanderlust Wayfarer Facebook group.

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