Holidays are stressful to begin with, and travelling tends to exacerbate the situation. That’s why we’ve put together a list of holiday travel tips, specifically those that’ll help you stay relaxed on your trip. Whether you fly, drive, or take a train or bus, there’s tips any traveler can appreciate.
To being with, ignore your instincts and pack light. According to The New York Times, you should avoid packing your vehicle to the brim if possible. If flying, ship your gifts in advance—don’t let them be ripped open by TSA agents. “I’ve seen instances when TSAs had to rip open beautifully wrapped gifts, which is not a fun way to start off a holiday,” David Solomito, the vice president of marketing at the travel search engine Kayak, has said.
Solomito also notes that the best day to travel is—believe it or not—the actual holiday itself. You’re statistically likely to find fewer crowds, less traffic, and better airfare on Christmas Day, than, say, a day or two before. If you can avoid flying or driving home before the actual holiday, you could have a much more enjoyable trip.
Finally, take the direct route. For drivers, this is more obvious. However, if you choose to fly, you might consider spending a little extra for fewer layovers. Connections will drastically increase stress, especially because holiday flights are prone to delays and overbooking. Unless you save hundreds of dollars, it might be worth it to take the shortest route.