6 ways to make your travels less stressful this holiday season

Dec 10 2018, 9:14 am

The winter holidays are typically the busiest (and most expensive) time to travel.

People are frantically flying home for the holidays, or escaping the cold Canadian weather to catch some Vitamin D on a beach. While you can’t magically shrink the airport security lines or get rid of the traffic on the roads, there are a few ways you can make your travel less stressful this holiday season.

To help you get away and keep sane, here are six ways to make your holiday trip a bit easier this year.

Plan ahead


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Planning ahead can save you time and stress. Remember to check into your flight 24 hours in advance to download your ticket to your mobile device. Be sure to also pre-pay for any luggage so that all you need to do when you arrive at the airport is print out the tag and drop your bag off.

Take a peek at your airline’s mobile app and weather reports for any flight delays that might disrupt your holiday travel. In the event you’ll need to rebook or change your travel plans, knowing the issues ahead means that you can do so sooner instead of later.

Avoid check-in luggage


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We are avid “carry-on only” travellers for a few reasons. On top of being way too frugal to pay for baggage and way too impatient to wait for it to arrive on the carousel, we’ve been caught in a number of unfortunate travel delays and learnt that travelling carry-on only makes you much more flexible.

Not only does it mean that you can get through security and check-in faster when you arrive at the airport, but if there are flight cancellations or delays because of weather (which happens far too often in the winter) you can be rerouted or hop on the next flight quicker because you have all of my baggage with you.

Pre-order your holiday gifts


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To help you travel lighter this year, try to do your holiday shopping online and have it delivered to your destination. This will avoid your precious gifts from being squished in your luggage but also let you only bring the essentials with you on your flight.

If you’re visiting family in Canada, “click and carry” is a great option to pre-order items from stores like Walmart or The Bay and pick up your gifts at a location close to your festivities.

Turn your holiday into a vacation


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Travelling during the holiday season to visit friends and family can be anything but relaxing. Between staying on your family’s couch and the many events you’re dragged to, the stress of the holiday season can really add up. Add some self-care into this season by transforming your holiday trip back to your hometown into a vacation.

You can do this by adding a day or two at the start or end of your trip to stay at a hotel and get away from the hustle and bustle. Alternatively, make sure to slot in some time during your trip to do something “touristy” to explore a new side of your destination aside from the endless dinners.

Upgrade your travel credit card


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The holiday season is the best time to upgrade your travel credit card, because you can accumulate a ton of points redeemable on your next vacation as you shop for holiday gifts.

When looking for a new credit card, take a look at the additional benefits your credit card offers that could make your holiday travels easier, which could include medical and travel insurance or access to airport lounges during your trip.

Be flexible with your travel dates


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This is the most wonderful time of the year, but also the busiest time to travel of the year. If you can, try and be flexible with your travel dates and time to avoid the crowds and get a lower fare on flights or rates on hotels. Flights on the actual holiday (Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, etc.) are usually cheaper compared to the days leading up to it when everyone is rushing to fly home.

If you are even more flexible with your travel dates, fares in January are less expensive as travel slows down post-holiday season.

Do you have any holiday season travel tips? Share them with us at [email protected].

Caleigh AlleyneCaleigh Alleyne

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