Top Tips for Holiday Travel

Are you planning to travel for the holidays? To take the stress and hassle out of your travels, here are our Tips for Holiday travel.

Top Tips for Holiday Travel

  1. Choosing your flights wisely
  2. Be at the airport, or on the road EARLY
  3. Pack your patience
  4. Considerations with Gifts
  5. Packing tips

Question: What is your favorite tip for holiday travel?

Please let us know in the All Things Travel Podcast Facebook group!

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Episode 81 Transcripts

Shayne: Hello, and welcome to All Things Travel. Are you planning to travel for the holidays?  Today, we’ll provide you with our tips to take the stress and hassle as much as possible out of holiday travel. You’re listening to All Things Travel, episode 81, original air date, November 17th, 2021.

Ryan: So, Shayne, what is your experience with holiday travel? 

Shayne: I’ve had mostly smooth trips, and I think I just naturally have done what we’ve suggested here. And there’s been a few exceptions. And when we didn’t follow what we’re about to suggest, those were would fall under that stress and hassle that we mentioned in the intro.

Ryan: Yeah. I remember. Uh, as, as, uh, a young dad. So my daughter was not even yet one, and we were living out in Vermont and traveling back to Michigan for Christmas and. My wife and daughter flew home earlier. And then I drove with my dad back from Vermont. And so, if you’re driving that way, it makes the most sense to drive up through Canada.

Around down through Port Huron into the Lansing area, Michigan of Michigan is where we’re going. And I just remember being so exhausted after that drive. And just saying, please let us not do this again. You know, the Subaru Outback was packed with everything we possibly could ever need for any sort of military endeavor.

You know how it goes when you’re a young parent. 

Shayne: Oh, yes. 

Ryan: And it was like, It, you know, it was full of Christmas stuff. It was full of work stuff. It was full of baby stuff, and it was just exhausting. And luckily, we didn’t have to make that trip again. The next year people came out to visit us the year after that we had moved back closer to family, and now I’ve got the best situation ever, man, because people either come to me or within the same town and I don’t have.

All over the holidays, and I really, really appreciate it. It makes the holidays so much better, but you know, I know not everybody’s in that boat. And so we’re going to talk today about what are some tips to make that possible, stressful, hard holiday travel that much better. We’re going to help you out.

We’re going to decrease that stress. But first, Shayne, as always, I want to know where in the world is. All things. 

Shayne: Way out west, I mean, way out west dally, city, California, just south of San Francisco. 

Ryan: All right. Welcome. 

Shayne: It looks like a fun place to visit. I would say that we’d probably go hang out at the ocean Hale house and drink with the locals, and it looks like they have some live music. I love local live music. That’s one of the things you can do in life to make a good contribution to the world and improve your own happiness is support local.

Ryan: beer. Oh, wait, no, you were going to say to support local music.

Okay. 

Shayne: goes without saying spirit support, local artists.

Ryan: Okay. No, I agree that that sounds great. 

Shayne: Now, let’s head back east way east to clear field Pennsylvania in central Pennsylvania. It looks like a, just a, a gorgeous, another one of those hallmark Christmas movie settings that I’m so wild about. And I think we should hang out at Mary’s place because I’ve got, I’m going to call it an interesting chocolate stout.

Ryan: Okay. All right. 

Shayne: So if you’re out there, I love chocolate stouts, and I want to taste this one.

Ryan: Sounds great. Well, welcome, California. Welcome, Pennsylvania. We are so glad you’re here. So Shayne. I’ve traveled for the holidays. You’ve traveled for the holidays. We’ve flown, we’ve driven. Our first couple of tips are specific to flying. What would they be? 

Shayne: Fly direct. If you can, 

Ryan: Absolutely. If you can, this is the time to fly direct. 

Shayne: Fly directive, if you can, because everything is going to be super packed.

The flights, the cars, the buses, the trains are going to be booked to the max. In fact, they’re probably going to be asking people to take vouchers, to travel at a later. 

Ryan: Which could be a good opportunity if you have some flexibility. 

Shayne: If you can build that flexibility in, then that is probably a great way to get a few hundred dollars worth of travel voucher, but otherwise fly direct so that you don’t have that opportunity to get stranded somewhere when a plane or a bus or a train is overbooked.

Ryan: Right. Like you and I. Decrease as many variables as possible, And holiday travel is no exception. The second thing when it comes to travel is, was particularly with, with flights. This is not the time to go budget. And we all know who we’re talking about, you know, If things are going to change, sometimes those budget airlines, those budget ways to travel are not very customer friendly.

This problem. If you ha, if you need to get home or get someplace for the holidays, this is not where you want to be using those budget opportunities.

Shayne: Another tip is I would say to travel on the holiday. It’s amazing. The difference between what an airport looks like on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and on Thanksgiving Day, it is night and day. 

Ryan: two Thanksgivings ago, I traveled from Indianapolis to Orlando, and yet we were delayed, but that had nothing to do with the holiday travel, but it was, it was nice and easy. Also, I used to work at a toll Plaza, And I can tell you, 4th of July, the morning was. The highways were dead by mid-day. So, you know, there is some advantage for traveling on the holiday.

Absolutely.

Shayne: And I’ve traveled before, just during the super bowl. And it was a lot easier. Everything was less crowded. The super bowl is a big deal, but that’s, it’s that much more effective to travel on a holiday, such as Christmas or Thanksgiving or New Year than to travel the day before or the day after.

Ryan: Our second tip is to be on the road at the airport early. You are going to need extra time. Whether it’s weather-related, whether it’s crowd related, you need to plan extra time to make sure that you can get to your flight.

Get through the airport, get through security, or traffic is going to be heavier depending on when you travel. You want to plan for extra time. Along with that, Shayne, what’s our third tip, then. 

Shayne: Pack your patients.

Ryan: absolutely pack your patients. 

Shayne: And the earlier you get somewhere. Patients you’re going to need, you might need something to fill the time from boredom, but being bored is a lot better than being stressed or anger because when things go wrong, well, because if you’re arriving late, the place is going to be crowded. Whether it’s the airport or the highway, the toll booth, especially if there’s construction on the highways there, there’s going to be so many people there.

You get just going to have to be patient, especially if he didn’t leave early.

Ryan: Our fourth tip has to do with what to do with gifts. If you’re traveling over gift-giving holidays, the first is if you’re traveling, check them. It will make your wife a lot easier to check those gifts. Not have to worry about getting them through security, not have to worry about them getting scrutiny.

The second option is to ship them, ship them directly to where they’re going. And Hey, Amazon and similar companies have made this a lot easier than the last time I traveled with gifts. Now you can just send them straight to the folks, send them straight to where they need to be for either you to give them or to give them as far part of the shipping. 

Shayne: We’ve done that a couple of ways. We’ve one way we’ve done it is to ship the gifts via Amazon or the post office so that they arrive before. To come to us. And the other thing we’ve done is that we’ve put pictures route, either put them in stockings are wrapped in pictures of what it is. And then when they get back home, the gifts are 

Ryan: I like it. 

Shayne: So they don’t have to worry about carrying them Dem on the plane or in a 

Ryan: Right. Well, and that leads to my next suggestion with gifts. If you’re traveling, don’t have physical gifts. You know, if you need to fly or something like that, make sure that you have gifts that are either travel friendly or just decide that’s not the Year for physical gifts. Maybe like at the last episode that the travel is the gift, or that’s a good time for gift cards for, you know, things on wine And stuff like that.

So that you’re not having to worry about that gift.

Shayne: And that’s important to think about from the aspect of whether you’re taking gifts to where you’re going, or if you’re buying gifts for the people who are coming to visit you because if you’re giving them all these boxes of things to carry back on the plane or in the car, you’re adding a lot to their potential stress and hassles for their trip back.

Ryan: Yeah. Yeah. So our last area of tips today has to do with pack. And a lot of it has to do with minimizing the packing, whether you’re driving or flying. The first tip is to carry on only if you can; it saves a lot of stress knowing that you have your carry-on, even if you have to gate check it, which I actually love to do, to be honest with you.

Cause then I don’t have to worry about my bag, but if you know that you just have a carry-on, you don’t have to worry about finding a checked bag. It makes a world of difference. 

Shayne: I remember one year, in particular, traveling on Christmas Eve, and the flight was delayed. And by the time everyone got the delays and then the flight, and then arriving by the time we all got to baggage claim, that was a very stressful situation. There was a lot of heated tempers there, and it would’ve been so nice if we didn’t have any bags and we could have just taken her carry-ons and left.

Ryan: And then our last tip here is if you’re traveling to see folks like family one, you could already have some stuff there. So maybe you leave some stuff from the Year before so that you know that you’ve got some clothes or have pajamas or have some toiletries or something like that. Or if you have items like, let’s say, diapers or formula or things like that, that, you know, you’re going to have to use.

You don’t want to have to carry all of that with you. Why not place an order and ship it to their house. So that way it’s waiting for you there. 

Shayne: We use Amazon subscribe and save a lot. And it’s pretty easy to just have the monthly items sent to a different 

Ryan: Yeah. Yeah. 

Shayne: with anything, you can have anything you purchased. You can have it shipped anywhere.

Ryan: Yeah. And, and it just, then again, it cuts down on, you know, it’s really hard to pack a week’s worth of diapers in your luggage, and we’ve all tried to do it. Haven’t we? So, you know, if there’s a way to minimize that and to not have to deal with. Well, Shayne, those are a couple of quick tips, but hopefully, we’ll help minimize some of that stress and anxiety.

When it comes to holiday travel, what are your plans for travel this holiday season?

Shayne: Well, it’s kind of funny. We’re lucky enough that people are coming to visit us. But knowing me, I was still trying to stick a trip within their trip or weekend traveled to a place near here and hang out for a couple of days. But luckily, my wife had better sense than to let me do that.

Ryan: There you go, well, this way you can pass this episode along and help your guests in their holiday travel. 

Shayne: We would love to help you plan your next amazing vacation. Even if it’s during the upcoming holidays, Ryan and I are both travel advisors with Creating Magic Vacations. You can reach out to Ryan at R Y A N at CreatingMagicVacations.com or me, S H A Y N E at CreatingMagicVacations.com. And remember, it is our job to make you the holiday travel planning, superhero.