6 Holiday Travel Tips You Never Knew You Needed

Traveling during the holidays can be stressful. Use these six tips to make things easier.

Amanda Thomas
5-minute read
Episode #231

The months of November and December have some of the busiest travel days of the year. Many people are traveling to see family during this time, some by plane, others by car. No matter how you are getting to your holiday destination, use these six tips to make your holiday travels easier.

Stay in the Know

When you’re traveling in the winter, you want to stay as informed as possible, especially about the weather. If a storm is rolling across the land, it’s likely going to affect how quickly you can get to your destination. Stay informed on what’s happening with the weather by downloading apps on your phone for radar and weather. Many news stations across the country have weather specific apps that, once downloaded, can send you alerts for storms and blizzards. If you use radar apps, you can see which areas are getting the most precipitation, have high winds, and are in the path of approaching storms. This can help you plan if you need to take an alternative route in your car or if you will need to watch for flight delays.

Download Airline Apps

Speaking of flight delays, make sure to download your airline’s app to your phone. With most airline apps, you can log in to see delays or flight changes and get alerts if your flight is affected by the weather. You may also be able to change your ticket if your flight is cancelled or delayed just by logging into the app. It’s the easiest way to make sure that you know exactly when your flight is going to leave and make changes if you need to.

The airline apps are also great for boarding passes. I fly quite a bit, and it surprises me to see how many people are still using paper boarding passes. Checking in for your flight on the app means you may not have to stand in long lines to check in at the airport, and that you don’t need to fuss with printing and remembering a paper boarding pass. You can simply pull up the boarding pass on your phone, scan at the gate, and board your flight. This is especially helpful if your hands are already full with the kids. We all have our phones handy already, so put them to good use at the airport!

Rent Kid Gear

The first time we traveled with our son, we could have been a commercial for why parents need minivans. We brought so many things with us that the baby “needed,” including an exersaucer, bouncy seat, stroller, and even a bathtub. We drove across the country in our RV, stepping over baby gear every single day until we unloaded at the first grandparent’s home.

If you are traveling to a larger city over the holidays, don’t do what we did. Most larger cities have services that you can rent baby gear from during your vacations. From pack and plays, to car seats, to baby toys, most things are available to rent on a daily basis. This would have been so much easier than carting each and every item we thought the baby would possibly want to use during our visit.

If the places you are visiting don’t have a baby rental company, there’s still a chance you can find an alternative to hauling these items across the country. Have your family in the area ask around on social media for items they could borrow or rent for the duration of your visit. Grandparents may have other grandparent friends who have extra items that your baby could borrow. There may also be someone who is willing to sell an item for cheap. Right before our arrival, our son had become dependent on his baby swing for his afternoon nap, but we ran out of room and couldn’t bring the swing with us. My mom was able to buy one in our hometown for $20 off a Facebook garage sale page. It served its purpose, and was able to be re-sold for the same amount when we were done using it.