6 Travel Tips for an Easy Breezy Holiday Trip

The holidays are here, and nothing says “celebrate” quite like gathering with friends and family. If you’re like many, chances are your holiday plans include a bit of travel to attend festivities with those loved ones. Perhaps you’re catching a flight or hopping onto a train, bus, or car at some point between now and year-end. While holiday travel can be full of excitement, the planning, preparing, and going can also be stressful and even hazardous, particularly if you live in the frosty Midwest.

To cut down on some potentially avoidable hassle, we suggest incorporating these six simple tips into your planning process:

  1. Plan ahead. Way ahead. The earlier you look into booking accommodations, rentals, and additional services, the sooner you can stop worrying about them. You’ll get first pass at a large number of options, versus waiting until later and having to choose from whatever is left. If planned far enough in advance, you’ll have time to watch for the best travel and lodging rates, and you can even set alerts from your favorite booking website for cheap rates during the dates you’re looking at.
  2. Build a time cushion into your plans. Feeling rushed can be one of the biggest stressors during holiday travel, accounting for dangerous situations and irritable dispositions. Plan some extra hours, or even an extra day into your travel to alleviate that potential fun-zapper.
  3. Pack lightly. Many of us could probably cut our suitcase contents in half and get by just fine on a trip. Less luggage makes it easier to get around, and you can undoubtedly find a washing machine or laundromat if needed on your trip. Roll your clothing to maximize space, use a rolling suitcase, and if you need more than one bag, consider coordinating them so that they can stack into one easy rolling mecca. (Image credit: Macys.com)
  4. Ask for special accommodations or services. Don’t be shy. While you may have once considered them luxuries, they may be worth your extra dollars to provide ease and comfort during your holiday travels. For airplane, train, or bus travel, look into reserving a row or seat that will be most comfortable to you. Ask about discounts like senior, teacher, military, AAA, or AARP, as well as personal assistance services available to get you and your loved ones safely to where they need to be. Ask to have a hotel room on the ground floor, if helpful, and request information about any other potential accessibility quirks.

    5. Don’t forget the important stuff. We’re not talking about your toothbrush and pajamas; don’t forget to bring a full supply of medications and copies of important documents like insurance cards, doctor’s statements, and Power of Attorneys.  You’ll want to keep medications in their original containers that you received from the pharmacy, and bring a copy of your prescription list along. Should a medical situation arise during your travels, these will help streamline any potential obstacles.

    6. Take the road less traveled. If you’re going to be traveling on the busiest weekends of the year, consider taking a train or bus instead of driving yourself or flying. If traveling by plane, investigate airports close by the usual big city destination, which may be less congested this time of year. Who knows, they may even save you money compared to your traditional travel plans.

Have a tip to share? What have you experienced in the past that helped minimize the stress of traveling? Leave a comment below!

From all of us at Three Pillars Senior Living Communities, we wish you safe travels and very happy holidays!