A Guide for Travelling this Christmas

The chilling air, the warm embraces, the roasting smell, yes, the Holiday spirit has finally taken over as this year comes to an end. The question is where would you be?

Travelling during the holidays can both be stressful and rewarding but with a little bit of preparation, you can reap off the benefits of the latter. Sneak a peek in this Christmas travel guide and soon you’ll be singing “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” rather blissfully, not minding the tune of course.

1. Decide on a destination everyone will love. It makes a world of difference when everyone is excited about the trip. Bear in mind the needs of your family or friends. If you’re bringing a baby or a young child with you, be sure to check the environment is kid-friendly.

2. Check weather conditions. Anticipate the weather in your destination and come prepared. Pack the necessary things such as a coat or a brolly, depending on where you’re headed. Separate winter/weather clothes and put them in one plastic bag to avoid having to go through everyone’s suitcase and making a huge mess.

3. Book early – NOW. Prices are bound to skyrocket in the next few weeks so you might want to book flights now (if you haven’t yet, that is). It’s best if you book a flight back that is off-peak, say, Friday morning. Assume that many will have to get back by Monday to resume going to work or school so best to steer clear of weekends.

4. Always have a checklist. No matter how organized you think you are and how great you are in memorizing chores, it’s wise to have a checklist of all the things you’ll need, have to do, and so on. After all, you don’t want to be a thousand miles away when you remember to turn off the cooker. Involve your little ones too by letting them have their own checklists. Not only will this be easier on you but will also cultivate a sense of responsibility among them.

5. Anticipate delays and mishaps. Best be prepared for the worst rather than let everything go to waste. Remember, this is the Christmas holiday, incredibly the busiest time of the year and so you must be armoured with plan B through Z. See that there’s ample time in between connecting flights to avoid missed flights and the sprints you would be doing otherwise. Lost luggages are a common holiday nuisance so divide some clothes throughout different luggages so everyone has spare. Better yet, have your essentials – a mobile charger and a set of wardrobe – in your carry-on.

6. Don’t wrap presents just yet. If your presents seem suspicious to the airport authorities, they will have to check them and you will have to repack them. Besides, you’ll be saving on storage space and won’t risk ruining those toy robots you’ve wrapped so delicately. So it is when travelling by land, well, except for caravanning that is.

7. Know the best time to go and efficient routes to take. You will be facing a mob that’s always in a hurry so a bit of a common sense will definitely help you surpass the “competition”. Find out which roads are busiest during what time of day and plan your alternate route. And follow the time you set for yourself to leave. Otherwise, you will have to pay for that extra sleep you had before you left and won’t like it one bit.

8. Make the journey part of the trip. And not just a means to an end. Plan your stops – both time and place – according to your family or friends’ needs or interests. When travelling with children, toys and other things that will keep them entertained will save you from a terrible headache. Make the journey a good time for everyone. A good mood is always a great companion.

9. Have your car checked before travelling. Nothing is more infuriating than having your car break down in the middle of nowhere – with everyone in tow – at the busiest, most stressful time of the year. Save yourself the trouble and have it checked at least a week before the trip to ensure a smooth ride.

10. Send presents via airmail. Whether travelling by land, sea, or air, perhaps it might be best if you send your Christmas presents via airmail to save on luggage costs and space. And so you won’t have to cram everything in your suitcase.

11. Avail of pet care services. If you won’t be bringing little Max along, it’s best to avail of pet care services to avoid the hassle and to ensure your pet is well taken care of while you’re away. Book your services in advance in preparation for the holidays.

12. Research on your chosen destination. Learning doesn’t have to begin upon your arrival. Doing a little bit of research beforehand will allow you to plan your trip efficiently. Knowing all the kind of celebrations there are during your stay will greatly benefit you and your entire family. Although, anticipate the large crowd you’ll soon be facing so best to orient the entire family before leaving for the trip. Set your do’s and don’ts to ensure a fun yet safe vacation for everyone.

Follow these simple steps and you’re certain to enjoy your Christmas getaway with the whole family. Don’t forget to bring your Christmas stockings and some mince pies or Christmas cake to bring a flavour of your home wherever you are. Bask in the festivity this season brings. Happy holidays!