10 Travel Tips for Stress-Free Holiday Travel
Hey there! It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The holiday season is my favorite time of the year, but in the aviation/customer service industry, it can be a real struggle. There are many people who may only travel once or twice a year, and this post is to help them. I want people to have a stress-free holiday travel experience! So, if you know someone who might fit that, go ahead and share this post with them!
So, this post is to help those who may be nervous while traveling, don’t travel often, or are anxious while navigating an airport. As an industry insider, I want to help ease some of those worries and really shine a light on the industry as a whole.
1. Plan Ahead
Whether it’s when you’re going to pack or when you’re going to arrive at the airport, plan ahead. You do not want to be running late at the airport. The airport already has a stressful vibe, don’t make it worse by running late or not having all of your things together. Planning ahead allows you time to check your bags, get through security,
2. Weigh Your Bags Before Coming to the Airport
You don’t have to have your own baggage scale at home, but nothing is worse than meticulously packing your bag just to find out it’s overweight. I’ve heard people say that they used their bathroom scale to weigh their bags. Now, use that as a guide. Just because it’s 50lbs on your bathroom scale doesn’t mean it will be at the airport.
3. Pack Efficiently
Just in case your bag does end up overweight, you don’t want to be sifting through your underwear and personal items at the ticket counter. You also don’t want your bag to be overstuffed. You can either roll your clothes so that they take up less space, or use packing cubes. Packing cubes can help you organize your suitcase so you know what is where and you can separate dirty and clean on your way home.
Packing efficiently doesn’t just help your checked bags, you can do it in your carry on. If you pack small toiletries and electronics, keep those close to the front for easy removal during TSA screening.
4. Know the Rules of Your Ticket
If you bought a $50 ticket, there are probably restrictions that come with it. Meaning, that there will probably be fees involved if you want to change flights. Knowing the fare rules of your ticket would save you some of the shock when you ask about changing flights or going standby on an earlier flight. Remember, you agreed to these rules when you bought your ticket.
5. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Assistance
If you need help navigating the airport or a wheelchair, don’t be afraid to ask. I’ve encountered many people who ask for assistance and then feel embarrassed because they feel like they should be able to do it on their own. There’s nothing wrong with asking for help. Airline employees are there to help you and make your travel as smooth as possible, ask them!
6. Bring a Portable Charger
Although we like to think that aviation is with us in the new millennium, it really isn’t. Many airlines don’t have charging ports on some of their planes (or any of them), and some airports aren’t the best either. Meaning, if you run out of juice, then you’re probably out of luck. So, you’re going to want to get a portable charger so you can stay charged throughout your journey.
Search portable chargers here.
7. Eat Before Hand
Many people think that they’ll come extra early and eat at the airport. Now, I’m not saying that airports don’t have food options, most have pretty decent, if not good, restaurants. However, airport food can get expensive, take it from someone who works at one. It’s because you’re at the airport, sometimes through security, they know those are your only options. So, if at all possible, I highly suggest eating before you get to the airport.
8. Know What You Can Carry, Check, or Ship Separately
Contrary to popular belief, you can’t bring everything with you on an airplane. Some things you can’t carry on you have to check, some things you can’t check you have to carry on, and some things you can’t do either meaning you have to ship it! I highly suggest checking out tsa.gov so you know exactly what gifts you may bring (unwrapped!) and what you may have to ship ahead of time. Not many people know about this, and it truly is a hidden gem.
9. Treat Yourself!
Traveling can be stressful and one of the best ways to combat stress is to treat yourself! If that means buying the audiobook you’ve been wanting or splurging on some skincare that’ll take care of your skin while traveling, then go for it! Get yourself something that will help keep you relaxed instead of stressing out. You’ll be waiting at the airport, it’s a lot of hurry up and wait.
You may also like // 15 Ways to Practice Self-Care
10. Pack Your Patience
This is honestly the most important thing. I’m going to say this right now, there will probably be bumps in your holiday travel. Winter weather and traveling don’t go hand in hand. Yelling at the customer service agent trying to help you isn’t going to get you to where you want to go. You can convey your frustration without belittling another person. Remember, they are here to help you and they want to! Sometimes, they can only do so much.
I know traveling can be stressful, I see it every day. With a little planning and flexibility, you can become a travel pro during the holidays. Just know that the airlines are trying to get you there, sometimes mother nature doesn’t play along, and that you will get to where you want to go. I truly hope you enjoy the holidays wherever your travels take you! Remember to thank your airline employees, they are working hard, away from their families, to get you on your way to your family.