5 Tips to Stress-Free Holiday Travel01 Oct 2016

Looking to travel somewhere to spend the holidays? Make the most out of your vacation or family time by taking a few simple but important steps:

  1. European ChristmasPlan well in advance – this alone will help reduce stress. If flying, purchase tickets three to six months in advance to obtain optimal schedules and pricing. Take care to avoid high travel days whether flying or driving if at all possible (such as the Sunday after Thanksgiving). Hotel reservations should be made three or more months before travel as accommodations will be in high demand – some destinations should be even a year in advance. Make a checklist so you don’t overlook something as you get close to the busy holiday season.
  2. If flying for your holiday, save time and minimize frustration at airports by signing up for either TSA PreCheck (to expedite security screening for domestic travel) at www.tsa.gov or Global Entry (to expedite U.S. Customs and immigrations clearance for international travel) at www.cbp.gov/travel/trusted-traveler-programs/global-entry/how-apply.
  3. Allow extra time while traveling during the holidays – on the road if driving, at train stations or at airports. If mailing holiday gifts, get to the post office early in the season and avoid long waiting lines.
  4. Pack smart. Plan what you really need to take with you and try to minimize luggage as trains and planes will be full and more luggage will likely be lost during the high holiday travel season. Make sure your identification is on all luggage, use only TSA locks and include a copy of your itinerary in your suitcase. Save space by shipping holiday gifts – if you do take some with you, leave them unwrapped as TSA may need to inspect them. Pack a change of clothes and healthy snacks in your carry-on bag if flying in case there is a travel delay or your luggage doesn’t arrive when you do.
  5. Stay healthy! Avoid ruining your trip by getting sick, so take some preventative measures before you leave. Get plenty of sleep, stay hydrated, eat well and get enough fresh air and exercise. Also, carry some hand sanitizer with you.
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