Holiday Travel Tips

December and January are festive times to celebrate our commitment to the ones we love. When we join as a community to share our time and resources, we can make the holidays wonderful for everyone. 

During the holiday season, family and friends come together to share love and good cheer. For many that means distant travel. There are a lot of things that you can do to make travel easier on yourself. 

Don’t forget, there are still pandemic restrictions in place. Research COVID restrictions for the area before you go. You need to be up-to-date on the changing travel restrictions. If not, you may not be allowed entry, or it may delay your travel and cost you extra money.

Book your transportation as soon as possible. Rates go up closer to the holidays and seats rapidly disappear. A one-day delay could cost hundreds of dollars.

Take the earliest flight. When delays occur, they compound quickly through the course of the day. One delayed flight can cause another flight to be delayed resulting in hundreds of delays and cancellations with people becoming stranded in airports. 

Plan to be where you are going three or four days before and after the holiday. The busiest travel days of 2022 are going to be December 22 and 23 and December 26 and 27. 

These busy days affect road travel as well, with highways filling up and people hurrying to get to their destinations. 

A large amount of impatient people distracted by a car full of passengers driving in winter conditions is a recipe for disaster. Make sure you have an up-to-date road side assistance membership and check conditions before heading out. 

Have a plan B and plan C for travel interruptions. Think of it as your sanity insurance. If you are stuck in the airport, what are you going to do? If you are stranded on the highway, what are you going to do?

Always carry high calorie snacks with you. Nuts, fruit, and sandwiches are all very portable and will be a blessing when stranded. Consider stocking your car with warm blankets and water. I always carry an empty steel water container. I have it with me all the time. I empty it in the check-in washroom and carry it empty through security then fill it up in the waiting area washroom. Throw in a couple of ice cubes from one of the fast food places and you have delicious cold water for hours. 

Bring things to keep yourself occupied, such as a book - I have spent many enjoyable hours lost in a book while waiting in airports. Now people have their smart phones and tablets to watch movies, play games, read books, keep up with current news, use social media, and do work. Be respectful of those around you, and please use your earphones.

Be polite and have empathy. Everybody is going through the same stressful situation. A smile is free and so rewarding to see the other person’s face brighten up. Talk calmly and be kind with all the workers you talk to. Try to make your time with them pleasant and reassuring. 

Order your presents online or at local stores where you are visiting and have them delivered to where you are staying - you can even have them gift wrapped!But it is nice to get there a few days early and wrap them yourself. A good trend is to give experiences instead of things. Last year I was given a gift certificate to Island Lake Lodge that I used for date night. I can still remember it clearly.

As we all come together over this holiday season, be safe and spread the love.