Traveling for the holidays is often a stress-inducing, panic-initiating event. The crowds, prices, bad weather and more all contribute to the headache and anxiety. But the truth is that combining holidays and travel doesn’t have to be scary. In fact, with the help of these tips from BlueOrange Travel and some careful planning, you can ensure your travel this holiday season will go smoothly.

Avoid the headache of holidays and travel

Don’t Travel on Peak Days

The day before and the Sunday after Thanksgiving are two of the busiest travel days in the US. If you know the peak days for the holidays you’re traveling for, you can avoid the worst of the crowds. Consider having flexible travel dates to ensure you avoid the rush and enjoy your travel time more.

Give Yourself Plenty of Time

Consider leaving for the airport or train station earlier. Don’t leave it to chance that there won’t be traffic or that you will be able to breeze through security. Even on non-peak days you could encounter crowds, and your stress levels will thank you if you don’t have to rush.

Savor the Travel Time

Airports are more than simple travel hubs. Many are loaded with luxury amenities that you seek out at home. If your travel plans are delayed, consider stopping for a delicious meal, a massage, nap or world-class shopping. Distracting yourself can make the time speed by faster.

Pack Light

Carefully consider what you will need when you travel this holiday. Don’t forget shoes to match the weather, but question if you really need quite so many sweaters. By planning ahead, sticking to neutral colors and wearing your coat on the plane, it really is possible to pack for your winter getaway in your carry-on. Read more winter packing advice here.

Avoid the Ticket Counter

Print your boarding pass at home or use an e-ticket when you fly. There’s always a line at the ticket counter, but with a carry-on and your pre-printed pass you can head straight for security and skip the bottleneck. If you do need to pack a bag, rely on the curbside sky caps, just be sure to tip them to show your gratitude.

Have a Backup Plan

The unexpected can still happen, even with your careful planning. If you’re driving, then know an alternative route to take if traffic backs up. If you’re flying, then know other flights that can get you to your destination. It’s always smart to rely on a travel agent when you fly. As a professional travel planner, your agent can help you find and secure your spot on the next-best route to your destination, decreasing your headache.

Consider Holiday Gifts Carefully

Toting that wrapped gift for your nephew might seem like a great idea, but consider what travel with a large, wrapped present may look like. Ship gifts in ahead of your trip or, better yet, shop online and send your presents directly. This way, you cut down on what you’re carrying while you travel, and you don’t have to worry about gifts being open for security inspection.

Stay Informed

Sign up for text messages from the airlines or hotel or count on any informational outlets your travel carriers provide. When you are informed, you’ll feel more prepared for whatever travel experiences lie ahead. Make sure your phone is charged before you leave home, and pack a battery backup and charging cable in your carry on.

Supply Yourself

Pack what you will need for your travel time. Books, movies, music, snacks can make you feel more prepared and are excellent diversions if you’re trapped on the runway or in line. Think through what you might need and pack it in a bag or purse you don’t plan on checking.

BlueOrange wants your holidays and travel to be merry, bright and stress free. Start making your travel plans now for this holiday season to ensure you are prepared for whatever obstacles and challenges might come up. As a corporate travel agent based in New York City, BlueOrange is ready to help you plan for the holidays or for your next business trip. Contact us for more details.