Holiday travel made simple with these tried-and-true tips
Traveling for the holidays can be a nightmare—especially if you’re traveling with kids. Here are some of the best travel tips to keep you sane and in the holiday spirit.
Holiday vacations don’t have to leave you drained—you just need to know how to travel efficiently, in a way that minimizes the chaos. Read on to find out how to avoid crowds, get the best fares, pack the right way, stay healthy, keep the kids happy, and finally get a little shut-eye in-flight.
Allow extra time to avoid ruining holiday travels
The biggest issue with traveling around the holidays is the massive crowds. Massive crowds mean long lines, delays, and traffic. There are a few things you can do to make life a little easier. For Thanksgiving 2019 the best days to travel are the Monday before the holiday or on the holiday itself. The worst days to travel are the day before Thanksgiving and the Saturday and Sunday after.
For Christmas this year the best days to travel are Christmas Eve and Christmas day. The worst travel days are the days between Christmas and New Years—try to avoid it at all costs! Obviously, traveling on the holiday isn’t ideal, but if you can work it out with your family, it’s a good way to get holiday travel deals and avoid crowds.
Another way to avoid crowds is to take flights very early in the morning or very late at night. Again—this isn’t ideal, and might be difficult with kids, but you’ll be saving time not sitting in traffic or waiting in long lines. If you do decide to book that 5 a.m. flight, pop a Mybite Energy to get you through the hectic morning! Energy vitamins are a great, healthy way to help you power through those long travel days.
Don’t forget we are living in the age of technology, so there are a bunch of apps you can download to track flight changes and delays. Staying on top of your itinerary will prevent future headaches and grumpy kids.
Best way to travel? Pack smart!
Overpacking can lead to paying extra baggage fees. While it’s ideal to only have a carry-on to avoid a lost luggage fiasco, it’s not always realistic. If you do have to check a bag, make sure you pack all of your essentials in your carry-on bag. In the off chance your checked baggage gets lost, have a change of clothes, medications, a toothbrush, make-up—the absolute essentials, so you can make it a few days while waiting for your bag.
When packing your carry-on do so with intention—especially if you are traveling with kids. Airports and planes are crawling with germs, so pack an ample supply of hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes. Wipe down your seats on the plane before settling in for the flight. Flying is a prime time to pick up a cold, so take Mybite Immune to give your body an extra boost.
When traveling for gift giving holidays, make sure you don’t pack pre-wrapped gifts. If TSA finds a package suspicious, they will have to unwrap the package. Instead, pick up some wrapping paper at your destination. Alternatively, ship packages to your destination ahead of time.
Make sure everything is charged
This might seem like a no-brainer, but how many times have you ended up with two percent battery when you need your phone the most! Luckily, most airports and planes have outlets now, so don’t forget to pack your chargers in your carry-on bag. If you’re traveling with the kids, the last thing you want is a meltdown when the tablet runs out of battery. If there isn’t an outlet accessible, make sure you bring a portable charger as a back-up.
Some suitcases now have internal batteries so you can charge devices—but be careful, some airlines have banned these bags because they are a fire hazard. If you buy a smart suitcase, make sure you get one with an easily removable battery, so you can travel with it regardless of airline policy.
Tips for holiday travel with kids
Traveling during busy season is already stressful, but traveling during busy season with kids?! Borderline traumatic. Plan ahead with ways to keep your kids entertained, safe, and healthy.
If you have little kids who need to hold your hand while in public, use a backpack as your carry-on. You’ll be grateful to have both hands free to hold hands, push a stroller, or dig around for snacks at the bottom of your bag.
If your kids are big enough, pack them their own plane bags. They’ll be thrilled to have their own grown-up bag with their stuff in it. Fill it with games, toys, and snacks. Make it more exciting by adding in a surprise new toy or game. Magnetic games are a good plane option because pieces won’t go missing. Coloring or sticker books, card games, Play-Doh, and word searches or puzzles are all easy, portable options.
And, of course, this is the era of screen time, and there’s no easier way to keep the kids entertained than by letting them watch their favorite movie or TV show. Download movies and shows on your tablet in advance to assure things run smoothly. You never know when you might end up on the flight without free Wi-Fi or individual TVs.
Snacks are a lifesaver for holiday travel
In terms of snacks, make sure you plan and pack those ahead of time too! Many airlines have eliminated free food and snacks, and if they haven’t, not all of the snack options are appealing.
When packing snacks for flights, keep in mind you don’t want anything too messy or perishable. It’s rare, but sometimes a passenger will have a severe peanut allergy, and the flight attendants will announce the flight is peanut-free. Just to be safe, pack some peanut-free options.
Lastly, bite-sized snacks are the easiest for both you and your kids—no chopping or prepping necessary. Think along the lines of Goldfish, raisins, pretzels, almonds, fruit leather, trail mix, and apple slices.
Since flying is an occasion, pack a special treat for the kids that they’ll get if they are on their best behavior—maybe their favorite candy or cereal. You don’t want to overdo it with the sugar, but sometimes a little bribery goes a long way during a long flight.
Travel tips to get your Zzzs in
Flying, particularly when changing time zones, can leave you exhausted and depleted. It might upset your kids’ sleep schedules, leaving them irritable and difficult to handle. And when the kids are miserable, you’re miserable.
There are a few ways to combat this. Try to find flights during times when your kids would actually be asleep. Chances are, they will be exhausted by the time you board the plane, and they’ll sleep for at least part of the flight.
Now that the kids are asleep, it’s your turn. Ditch the Ambien. You never know what kind of reaction you could have, and you don’t want to be completely out of it if there is an emergency, or the kids wake up and need you. If you have trouble falling asleep on flights, take Mybite Sleep with melatonin—a natural way to help you get some shut-eye.
The holidays are a wonderful time of the year, but they can also be overwhelming. If you have to travel during the busiest times of the year, make sure you are prepared.
Set yourself up for success by staying organized and on top of your travel itinerary, as well as by keeping your kids entertained. By just taking a few of these suggestions, you’ll make your travel experience slightly less chaotic, allowing you to be fully present with your family this holiday season.