There are those of us who live within a 5-minute drive of our families, those who reside several states away from Mom and Dad and then there are some of us who need to hop on a plane to reach home during the holidays. During the holiday seasons, flying home may prove more daunting than other times of the year. And here’s how you can make it all better with a stress-free holiday!
Keep your cool
First of all, keep your cool and turn on your friendly face on at the airport. During this peak travel season, tensions run high at the airport among travellers and service staff and crew. When you are running late or sense a delay on your flight, it’s easy for a fraying patience to escalate out of control, but keeping your temper in check would be more productive. It might also be beneficial to encourage yourself to be nice during a trying situation – your response could mean a “free upgrade” or being ‘randomly’ picked out of a long line for a full body search. Read: further delay.
Fly Off Peak
If you have some flexibility in your schedule, arrange your flight for non-peak hours. Sure, it may be a little inconvenient to wake up in the middle of the night, but think about the money saved on red-eye flights PLUS beating the unruly crowds at the airport! And if there is a time difference between your country and the destination, you’d enjoy the extra perk of reaching your destination in the morning. Download flight apps to keep you notified of flight discounts and other perks, and while you’re at it, you can also shop for other apps that will make travel a breeze!
Delays and periods of waiting time are inevitable when you travel. Be it a three hour layover in Thailand, or a 30 minute wait at the boarding gate, life would look a lot more interesting if you had something in hand to keep your mind occupied. These days, people habitually open the Facebook up for mindless surfing, but why not read a book you’ve been putting off, or get on a micro-learning platform for learning on the go?
The security of our world post 9/11 has increased greatly on air travel, including foreign and domestic flights. In order to get past the security checks without event, check in as many pieces of luggage as possible and do not pack items which will trigger an alarm or further questioning from the authorities. You’d need to put on footwear that are both comfortable and are easily removed for custom clearance. Remember to weigh out all liquids and pre-pack them as required by your airlines. These preparations will help to speed you through the security process!
Travelling with Children
Holiday travel is difficult enough without children, and having in tow ups the difficulty level by a few notches. Talk about a stress-free holiday. That’s not to say that we can’t prepare for the curveballs! Think about how agitated you can become when you’re bored, hungry or have to wait in line. Children aren’t able to fully manage those emotions yet. Keep children comfortable, occupied and happy is the top factor for pleasant travel for the entire family. Bring small, quiet toys, activity books, or portable video games to keep their attention and maintain your sanity.
Gifts – Ship it!
It may seem like an unnecessary and additional expense to ship your presents, as opposed to packing an additional suitcase, but in the greater scheme of things, it would really make sense to ship them over. Better still, ship them weeks in advance so that you can take comfort in the fact that they will definitely reach there before your arrival. Did you know that it is far more unlikely for the gifts to be lost by the international postal services than for them to be lost in the maze of lost check-in luggage? Don’t take your chances. Grandma’s waiting for that knitted sweater.
So pack light, and keep your attitude merry and bright!