Holiday Vacation Tips

Holiday Vacation Tips

Santa’s not the only one planning a big trip in December. Seize the opportunity to plan a holiday vacation during your family’s time off work and school. Getting away with the whole gang requires planning and preparation, but it will be worth it when you spend the holidays with your out-of-town extended family or introduce the kids to an exotic locale. Enjoy these holiday vacation tips that will lead to smooth sailing for your family.

Holiday Vacation Tips

Plan Ahead

You’re not the only one taking off for fun and frolicking, so keep the entire family in mind as you make your plans. The holidays are the peak times for the travel industry. If you’re flying, plan your vacation and book flights as early as possible. Avoid travel on the day before Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve, which are traditionally the busiest travel days of the year. Everyone in your travel party, including the kids, will be happier and more relaxed if you fly earlier in the week or the day of the holiday when flights aren’t as full.

Allow for Delays

Peak travel times can add up to delays, whether you’re flying or driving. To deal with those delays, allow plenty of time for travel. Adjust your attitude as you set off for your destination. A positive attitude that says “We can do this!” is contagious. For air travel, this means arriving at the airport two hours before flight time to allow enough time for check in and security. Delays can crop up with road trips, too, but a little advance planning should minimize any problems. Plan your travel during nonpeak times to keep moving. You can shave off as much as 37 percent from your travel time by avoiding rush hour driving times, states the Federal Highway Administration. If your children are young, pack holiday goodie bags with age-appropriate distractions to keep them entertained during delays on the road or in the air.

Gift Tips

If Santa will be visiting you at your vacation spot, reassure your children that Santa uses super-duper reindeer radar to find every child. Keep your trip in mind as you shop for gifts. If you’re flying, wait to wrap gifts until you arrive at your destination, advises the U.S. Transportation Security Administration — security officers may unwrap gifts during security screening. You can ship gifts ahead of time, buy gift cards or hit the shopping circuit after you get where you’re going. If you’re driving, don’t wait until departure day to realize you can’t fit all the gifts and luggage into your car. Go with gift cards, think small as you shop, or shop at your destination.

Make Memories

Although holiday vacations and travel can be challenging, you’re making precious family memories. A holiday vacation can be a different kind of celebration that departs from tradition in a big way. Splashing in the surf or sliding down water slides on Christmas Day is probably a major change from holidays you spend back home. Kick back and enjoy your time away with loved ones. Relax and enjoy the seasonal activities that everyone in your family will remember for years to come.