Christmas and New Year holidays make for one of the busiest travel times of the year. For that reason, everyone needs to plan ahead in order to have a happy and safe experience. Some of the advice applies to both public transportation or private automobile travel. Since many things have changed in recent years, travel preparations have changed as well.
Travel tips for spreading Christmas cheer on the Cheap
Tip One: Gather information. First, we look at airline travel and how things have changed drastically because of security concerns. We need to find out what can and cannot be in our carry-on baggage. Some things that cannot go with us in the passenger section may be acceptable in our checked baggage. These things, however, change from time to time, so it’s a good idea to check out the current rules. One suggestion by airline security is to pack your liquid toiletries in clear plastic bags that can be checked quickly without having to open the bags. Do remember that there are size limits on what fluid items may be taken with you on a trip. It’s a good idea to get travel-size products from your super market or dollar store. While it is not a matter of regulation, packing this way for an automobile trip is also a good idea to make your toiletries easily accessible and prevent unexpected leaks inside your luggage.
Tip Two: Plan well in advance. Whether in your own vehicle or by public transportation, it’s a good idea to have everything planned out well before departure date. In the case of public transport, it’s common knowledge that booking early saves money and eliminates the disappointment of finding all seats taken and having to alter your travel plans at the last minute. In some cases, that may result in having to cancel your trip altogether. The need for advanced planning with personal transportation concerns other factors of travel. Before a long trip it is prudent to have the family car checked out, not forgetting the air pressure in all tires, including the spare. A hazard reflector is advised along with a fire extinguisher and first-aid kit. Even though most people have access to GPS these days, an up-to-date map or road atlas may come in very handy.
Tip Three: Pack sensibly. Almost everyone is guilty of over-packing when headed out on a trip. With public transportation, over doing the packing can result in additional charges. In the family sedan, it may result in insufficient space in the trunk. Even when planning to be away for a week or two, packing should be limited to four changes of clothes that can be mixed and matched. There is a spare outfit even when one set of clothing is in the laundry. With many of today’s fabrics, garments can be hand washed and hung up and only take an hour or two to dry. Also, pack your garments by rolling instead of folding. They fit more snugly in the suitcase and are practically wrinkle free when unpacked.
Tip Four: Send gifts ahead. Ground and air carriers and, in some cases, the US Postal service can deliver your Christmas gifts ahead of your arrival. There is no need to say that by doing so you eliminate the hassle of toting gifts and managing luggage at the same time. At the airport, wrapped packages will need to be opened to show the contents. Sending your gifts ahead of time is the most sensible way to go.
Tip Five: Play host instead of guest. Once in a while, eliminate travel all together by having guests come to your home. Money you would have spent on travel can go to meals, decoration, and entertainment. In some cases, even, you might use the travel money set aside for that purpose by purchasing travel tickets for relatives or friends who might not otherwise get to come. It’s Christmas time, after all, so you want to make it as joyful as possible.