How To Prepare For Holiday Travel

how to prepare for holiday travel

Coming Home for Christmas: 12 Tips for Traveling During the Holidays

Navigating the Holiday Travel Rush: Tips for Surviving the Season
Spending the holiday season apart from family and friends can be stressful, but once you've booked your ticket home, anticipation takes over. The Christmas shopping rush can be daunting while balancing a busy workload. Additionally, traveling during the holiday season can be overwhelming with navigating crowded airports, train stations, and highways. To help you avoid the associated headaches, here are some tips to ensure you make it through the holiday travel rush. Let’s go!

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Travel Tips
  • For flights, Skyscanner is excellent for comparing the best airline deals.
  • For accommodations, our family trusts for reasonable prices.

1. Book your trip in advance

If you're planning on spending your Christmas at home, it's time to start thinking about booking your flight ticket several months in advance to get the best deal. By reserving your seat early, you can save money, coordinate your annual leave with your colleagues, and even plan your holiday activities. I secured my ticket six months before December and was able to significantly cut down on expenses.

If you're planning to fly during the holiday season, Christmas Day and Christmas Eve are the cheapest days to travel. The days before and after the holiday tend to be more expensive, so it's best to consider flying earlier or later if you have flexible time off work. To snag the best deal, it's best to book your trip as early as possible. If you're opting for a road trip, keep in mind that the weekend before Christmas is usually the busiest time for travel.

2. Find Affordable Flights

Tips for Finding Affordable Flights During the Busy Holiday Season
Since Christmas is one of the busiest travel times of the year, it's best to leave as early as possible the week before. Another way to get the best deals on holiday flights is to set up price alerts on Skyscanner, a reliable platform we've used to compare flight prices.

How To Prepare For Holiday Travel

3. Make a Vacation Checklist

While some people may find it a hassle, creating a vacation checklist is an incredibly smart move. Here are just a few reasons why:
  • Keep track of activities: By jotting down your vacation itinerary, you can easily keep track of what activities are planned. For instance, I made sure to plan a beach day filled with outdoor activities. Once you've identified what you want to do, simply choose the best day and ensure everyone is up for it when the weather allows.
  • Prioritize tasks: A vacation checklist can help you prioritize tasks that need to be completed before you leave, such as following up on insurance and bank accounts, renewing IDs, and handling other important items.
  • Schedule friend and family meetups: Coordinating with friends and family can be challenging, especially when everyone has different schedules. By planning ahead and setting specific dates for meetups, you can ensure that your time is well-spent and avoid any schedule conflicts.
  • Keep track of gift-buying: A vacation checklist also serves as a reminder of how many gifts you need to purchase for loved ones back home.

4. Pack in Advance

Packing for a trip can be overwhelming, and it's easy to forget important items. To avoid this, make a list of all the things you'll need to bring with you a few weeks before your departure date (and don't wait until the last minute to pack!). Ensure your passport is up to date, and keep all of your travel documents and hotel confirmations in one place. When visiting a new destination, print out a copy of your reservation to keep on hand. Although digital copies are convenient, it's always better to have a paper backup in case your phone battery dies or technology fails you. For added organization and structure, consider using a travel planner to keep track of your essentials, plan your daily activities, stick to your budget, and remember any last-minute details before you take off.

5. Pack Lightly

If you're planning to travel with gifts, consider these tips to avoid any heartbreak or damage to your presents. Start by packing your essentials first and then weighing your luggage. If you have extra space, you can purchase small gifts for loved ones at your destination. However, it's best to avoid buying gifts as checked luggage as they are at higher risk of breakage and damage. It's also recommended to travel with only carry-on luggage to save time at the airport. If you're unable to pack gifts with you, consider ordering them online and having them delivered to your home address.

6. Early Christmas Shopping

As someone who opted to stay home during the Christmas season, I had concerns regarding gift-giving. Like most average workers, I usually wait for my bonus, 13th-month pay, or even a month's salary before buying presents for my loved ones. Unfortunately, it's a stressful ordeal to shop for gifts weeks or days before the trip. I end up buying unnecessary things and spending far beyond my budget.

I realized that I'd known about this for a long time, but ignored the fact. Buying gifts ahead of time is the smart way to go. By doing so, you can avoid the holiday rush and save money. There are numerous pre-Christmas sales where you can find the perfect gift for your loved ones. Take advantage of this and decide which significant item fits the person you're giving it to. As for me, I'll continue to prioritize buying gifts for my family, a few items for close friends, and maybe chocolates for everyone else. It's time to take the stress out of holiday shopping!

7. Leave Early

Whether you're driving or flying, hop to it and leave early. With the holiday season in full swing, traffic jams and airport mayhem are like the Grinch who stole your holiday cheer. Plus, winter weather can be a total Scrooge. So, remember to check your flight and rail statuses before leaving and give yourself plenty of time to get there.

The winter wonderland is a sight to behold, but it can also be a tricky time for driving. You never know when snow, rain, or wild storms could hit and throw your travel plans off course. If you must venture out on icy roads, take it slow and steady. It's always a good idea to keep an emergency car kit within reach, just in case of a breakdown or accident. Stay safe out there!

8. Christmas Away From Home: Tips for Traveling Abroad during Christmas

When traveling to another country, immerse yourself in the local culture by adopting their customs and participating in their festivities.

  • Booking Accommodations: For all types of accommodations, we recommend using as our go-to platform.
  • Renting a Vehicle: It's wise to book your vehicle early. Our preferred option is Enterprise.

9. Weather Considerations

If you're planning a vacation abroad, it's essential to do your research first. One important factor to consider is the weather during your stay, as it can greatly affect your planned activities. For instance, in the Philippines, the rainy season starts in the middle of the year, with lower temperatures in December. As such, beach outings may not be the best option, and indoor activities might be preferable. Alternatively, if you're visiting a winter destination, skiing or mountain hiking can be an exhilarating experience. And why not add a touch of adventure by singing the Frozen soundtrack at the top of your lungs while hiking? That will definitely make your trip even more unforgettable.

How To Prepare For Holiday Travel

10. Use A Travel Planner

Using a Travel Planner can help ensure that you don't forget any of the essentials. One of the most important and beloved features of this tool is the packing list. It's convenient to have it already prepared for you, and all you need to do is add in any other items you might need.

Travel Planning Made Easy with a Vacation Planner

Planning a vacation can be a daunting task, but with the right tools, it can be a breeze. I absolutely adore using a travel planner when mapping out my vacations. With a little bit of research and preparation, you can easily plan your itinerary and even manage your budget. It's a great way to stay organized and prioritize the places and foods you wish to experience on your trip.

11. Savor the Festive Flavors

The holiday season is the perfect time to indulge in the nostalgic flavors of your homeland or try something new while on vacation. Make sure to add this culinary adventure to your travel planner or vacation checklist. Don't miss out on the feast that awaits you at the dining table. Take the opportunity to try all the dishes you've been dreaming of while away. Trust us, you won't want to miss out on your favorite cake, dish, or drink from your beloved country. As the saying goes, "the way to a man's heart is through his stomach," and the same can be said for women.

12. Take Pictures

It's important to document the special moments in your life. Nobody lives forever, so it's essential to take pictures while your loved ones are still around. This will ensure that you never miss out on capturing those precious memories. Let your family and friends know how much you appreciate their presence in your life.

How To Prepare For Holiday Travel

Cherished Christmas Homecoming Memory

One of my fondest memories is coming home for Christmas. To make my return even more special, I convinced my younger brother to create a welcome banner just for me – even if I had to persuade him a little!

Bonus Tip: Practice Gratitude

Showing appreciation towards yourself, your family and friends can go a long way. Learn to be grateful for even the smallest things in life. One approach I've found helpful is keeping a Gratitude Journal, which helps me be more mindful of my daily experiences. Cultivating a thankful attitude each day can also lead to better sleep. I'm even thinking about purchasing some gratitude journals for my friends to help share positivity during the holiday season and into the new year.

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