Happy Holidays!! We at Booked By Barthel Travel & the European Travel Whisperer want to wish you and yours the most beautiful Season of Giving. No matter what you celebrate around this time of year, we hope you do it with friends and family and soak up the fun!
Many people travel during the Holidays, and that can be stressful. I’ve been lucky enough to always have my family close by, so this hasn’t been an issue for me personally. However, helping people to plan their Holiday travel has given me insight into how stressful it can make this time of year.
I’d like to offer you some tips on how to minimize the stress…for next year! Sorry, it’s probably too late to use all of our tips for 2017, but hopefully it will be helpful for your future planning.
- PLAN EARLY! It’s not always possible to plan ahead, but let’s face it, the Holiday Season is always at the same time of the year, so people who do plan early get the best pricing and availability. It’s “high season” for the travel industry, especially the week between Christmas & New Years, so the prices are automatically high for flights and hotels. But as supply diminishes and demand increases closer to those dates, the price increases as well. Be the “early bird”!
- GIVE YOURSELF PLENTY OF TIME! I mean this for EVERY part of your planning. Driving to the airport (or to your destination), between connections AND at the place you’re traveling to. Trying to fit in a two day trip over the Holidays when everything is already jam packed is the perfect recipe for stress. Add a few hours to the actual travel times and a few days to the trip so you can actually enjoy yourself.
- CHECK IN ONLINE! Avoid the counter lines at the airport or altogether if you don’t have to check luggage. This tip also helps if they overbook the flight and you’ve checked in with a secured seat. Also re-confirm any hotel reservations before you travel, letting the property know that you are indeed still coming and make sure they have your preferences already listed (two double beds instead of a King, upper floor, away from elevators, etc.).
- SHIP PACKAGES! If you’re flying, don’t try to carry the gifts with you on the plane. It will only increase your angst, the weight of your suitcase and what you may have to pay to get them there. Also, wrapped gifts are sometimes unwrapped by security, and that’s enough to make anyone cry! Shipping packages to your destination ahead of time may cost you a little money, but it will save you in stress.
These are simple tips that can help ease the stress of Holiday travel. The Holidays are truly meant to be joyous and fun, hopefully a little pre-planning can help!