holiday travel tips with kids

Holiday Travel Tips

Use these holiday travel tips to make your season bright

Traveling during the holidays can be stressful especially if you have children in tow.  Lots of things can happen unexpectedly from weather delays, to sickness, to loss luggage.  I have experienced A LOT during my travels with my family so I’m going to share some of my best holiday travel tips with you.  Hang in there and don’t stress out, you will get through this holiday season without a hitch!  Are you ready….here we go!

Travel Tip #1 –  Start a checklist of all the items you need to complete and create a due date.  This may sound a little silly but with all the holiday madness I need a checklist to make sure I don’t forget anything.  I’m always adding items to the list throughout the day and several days after I created it.  It may seem like it keeps growing and it never gets smaller but eventually it will get all crossed off before you leave for your trip. The of sense of accomplishment after you check off each item on the list give me hope!

Travel Tip #2 – If you are flying or driving to visit family or friends, consider using Amazon to deliver your gifts instead of hauling them along.  If you become an Amazon Prime member a lot of packages will be delivered within 2 days of your original order.  Plus, most airlines charge per suitcase ($25-45 per bag) and this could save you a bundle by having the items shipped instead.

Travel Tip #3 – Rental car prices during the holidays can be extremely inflated in price.  To save money, try booking a car that is within 10 miles from the airport and NOT at the airport.  Why?  Most airports add an additional tax (that is significantly high) to the price of your rental plus car rental companies also inflate their price for convenience.   Grab a Uber/Lyft and pay a few bucks to get to your off-site rental car company to save hundreds (no joke!).  Example:  My family flew into Chicago and we were going to book a car at the airport.  The price was going to be $484 for a mid-size for 10 days.  Instead, we booked a car 5 miles from the airport and the price was $285.  Wow what a savings!

Travel Tip #4 – If you are flying, be sure to pack a change of clothes in your carry-on.  It is highly possible that your flight could get cancelled, delayed, or you could get bumped.  It’s winter time and there could be a snow storm at your final destination or in the city of your connecting flight.  Even if you are flying to a tropical destination, your incoming flight may have come from a cold climate which could also delay your flight.  Being stuck at the airport or in a hotel room is no fun, especially if you don’t have your bags.

Travel Tip #5 – Pack your electronics chargers or car chargers in your carry-on bag too.  Why?  See Travel Tip #4.

Travel Tip #6 – Print copies of all your travel reservations and keep in your carry-on.  This may seem a little strange since everything is electronic BUT believe me it’s worth it.  Here are things that have happened in our family:  cell phone dies, cell phone gets stolen/misplaced, cell phone breaks, computers are down at airport/hotel/car rental.   I never leave home without my printed travel reservations.  Add to check list…see Travel Tip #1!

Travel Tip #7 – Pack food/snacks for the journey.  Again, holiday travel can be unpredictable and there is nothing worse than being stuck without something to munch on.  It seems like my kiddos are always wanting to eat so I make sure to pack plenty of snacks like crackers, fruit snacks, apple slices, string cheese, and veggie sticks.

Travel Tip #8 – Whenever we travel in winter months, I always pack “the pharmacy”.  It seems like someone in our family always gets sick or something on vacation.  Here are a few over the counter meds I pack:  ibuprofen, Benadryl, cold medicine, Vicks, Tums, eye drops and nose spray (allergies).  These items can get expensive if you have to “re-purchase” when you are on vacation.

I hope these holiday travel tips have lowered your stress level just a bit.  Hang in there and enjoy the season with your friends and family.  After all, that is what it is all about!

 

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