How do you cope with the stress of holiday travel? You know the scene: The airport is running at maximum capacity, and your family didn't get enough sleep last night due to all the holiday excitement. But taking a December vacation doesn't have to be a big hassle. Use these tips to keep your cool when you travel during the holiday season.
Check-in early. Most airlines provide online check-in up to 24 hours before your flight, saving you valuable time at the airport. It's a good idea to do a quick online check a couple of hours before you leave for the airport, too, to get information on your flight status.
Weigh your luggage before you leave home. This will save you from having to reshuffle your belongings from one bag to another at the airport. The airline's website will list the luggage weight and size restrictions for domestic and international flights. Measure your luggage if you have large suitcases or large carry-on bags, and remember that hard-side luggage weighs more than soft-side bags. Read our Tips on Buying a Lightweight Suitcase for more ideas on packing light.
Remember your slip-on shoes. Getting through airport security will be much faster if you can slip off your shoes easily. Children older than 12 years will also need to remove their shoes. For more information on traveling with children, visit the Transportation Security Administration's website.
Stay organized. Save time at security checkpoints and at boarding gates by keeping boarding passes, IDs, and flight information together in a travel organizer. They're not much bigger than a wallet, and they protect your documents.
Keep yourself and your family entertained. Even if your flight isn't delayed, chances are you'll be doing a lot of waiting, so make sure you bring plenty to occupy the time. This is a good time to invest in an e-reader or tablet; they're perfect for long flights because they take up so little room in your carry-on bag. And if the in-flight movie isn't family friendly, you and the kids can share a book or movie together on your digital device.
Travel in comfort. A pair of noise-canceling headphones or a travel pillow can make all the difference on a long flight. Remember to bring a lightweight jacket or shawl on board and wear comfortable clothing.
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