Traveling during the holiday season can be a little harried. It is the busiest travel time of the year after all. Even with everyone heading somewhere, you can still find the joy in the season and enjoy your journey. We have the top tips for holiday travel to make the journey just as great as the destination.
Plan Holiday Travel Early
Will you go to Grandma’s house this year or go elsewhere for a family adventure? As with most things, the early bird gets the worm or in this case the best travel deal. Do your research early and decide on a destination well before the holiday rush. Make your travel arrangements such as flights, lodging, and car rentals early in the season to take advantage of travel reward points or get the best rates. Prices will increase as the holiday approaches.
Planning early can help you reduce anxiety and increase your enjoyment of the holiday season. Get the planning done and out of the way so you can enjoy yourself and your trip.
Use Travel Reward Programs
Travel rewards programs are great ways to earn points on the everyday purchases and get you traveling more often. Maximize your holiday travel by using travel rewards programs that run special promotions, like the Double Stay, Double Go promotion from Marriott Rewards Premier and eligible United MileagePlus Credit Cards from Chase. In November, cardmembers can earn double rewards on Marriott and United purchases. These rewards can be used on future trips home or on other vacations. Visit the Double Stay, Double Go website before November 30, 2015 for more details.
Travel at Off-Peak Times
The day before a holiday is the busiest travel day; i.e. Wednesday before Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve. Plan to leave a few days before the holiday to beat the holiday rush. This applies to airline trips and travel by car.
Traveling earlier in the day can help you avoid the crowds as well. Security checkpoints could also be less crowded earlier in the day.
If you are driving, roads are less crowded early in the morning or later in the evening. You can hit the road during these times, then take a nap once you reach your destination.
If you are flying, pack what you need in a carry on to save time. Be sure to check with your airline on carry on size rules.
Ship Gifts or Give Gift Cards
Gift cards to favorite stores make great presents and take up little space in your carry on luggage. Ship other gifts via a mail carrier ahead of your arrival. That way, the gifts won’t take up space in your luggage and you don’t have to worry about the bows getting crunched in transit. If you do decide to pack gifts in your luggage when you fly, leave them unwrapped. TSA may have to inspect the items.
As a parent, we would NEVER forget to pack snacks for the kids. Just think of the meltdown if we did! Unfortunately, we often forget about ourselves. We are just like the kids when we get hungry; bearish, irritable, grumpy, etc. Be sure to pack foods you like so you don’t raid the kids’ snack bags. Nuts, fresh or dried fruits, and granola all make great snacks.
Pack a refillable water bottle in your bag. You can’t take liquids thru a security checkpoint, but you can fill a water bottle once you are on the other side. You can save yourself the fee of buying bottled water and keep yourself hydrated while you travel.
Maximize Time with Family
The holidays are a time to unplug and spend time with friends and family. Remember to exhale and enjoy your time together. Plan activities or events with them to create great memories. This doesn’t have to be expensive or even cost a penny. Some of the best times we’ve had with the kids involve a local park and a ball or a deck of cards.
Holiday travel doesn’t have to be stressful. We’ve shared our top tips for holiday travel with you. With a little planning, the journey will be just as enjoyable as the destination. Be sure to visit the Double Stay, Double Go website before November 30, 2015 for more details on the limited time offer from Marriott Rewards Premier and United MileagePlus Credit Cards from Chase. With 4,000+ Marriott Hotels and United flying to 362 destinations worldwide, they will help you get to your holiday destination so you can enjoy your holiday season.