TSA going through your bags. The kids screaming on the plane. The long line at the car rental agency. The. Whole. Thing. Traveling is awful, and it seems even worse during the holiday season when everyone is running around with frantic, glazed eyes and panicked expressions. You can avoid getting stressed out by holiday travel if you adhere to a few essential tips.
Plan for Security
Put all your lotions, shampoos and liquids together in a large plastic bag, or a couple of large plastic bags. Place this in a piece of luggage that you can access quickly. When you go through security, pull out your baggies and place them in the tray before you step through the checkpoint. This will make the process much easier. You may also want to choose slip-on shoes, too.
Download Some Stuff
Load your smartphone or tablet up with a couple of movies (or more, depending on how far you’re going) so that you have something to watch on the plane, the bus and everywhere else you may be sitting. Bring your earbuds, and you can watch whatever you want and tune out the trip. While you’re at it, get some apps. If you can check in online to the airport or hotel, get the app that allows you to do it. Get apps for your favorite restaurants, so you can easily find some places to eat once you get to your destination. And throw in some games as well, in case you get tired of watching movies.
Upload to the cloud, too, if you don’t already use one. Transfer your family photos, music and documents you need to your cloud. Your family and friends will want to see the pictures, and you’ll need the other stuff. Keeping everything in the cloud allows you to get to it easily from all your devices.
Put Your Paperwork in a Special Spot
Choose one place to store all your paperwork. This includes tickets, itineraries and anything else you need to access repeatedly. Keep this paperwork in a special pouch or a certain section of your bags with nothing else, and know exactly where it is.
Make sure you’ve got chargers for all your devices and at least one backup for your most essential device. Keep the chargers where you can get to them easily, and keep your eyes peeled for charging stations. Juice up when you can or you might end up with a dead device at the wrong time.
Avoid Travel Stress
Stick to the essential tips for stress-free holiday travel, and avoid as much anxiety as you can this year. Traveling is always going to be a pain, but you can always make it a little easier on yourself. And maybe next year, you won’t dread holiday travel for weeks in advance.