# 10 Prepare your travel documents well in advance. Don’t wait until the last minute to research requirements and make necessary arrangements. Whether you only need an ID and an e-ticket or a new passport and a complicated visa, prepare in advance and you won’t be scrambling and stressed – or worse, stuck – on your day of departure.
# 9 Fly on a holiday. There are often less lines and lower fares if you choose to travel on the actual holidays.
# 8 Depart early in the day or late at night. The early bird – or night owl, as the case may be – gets the flight. There are often less people and shorter lines in the wee hours, and if you choose an early flight, you have a better chance of departing on time and still making it to your destination in the event that there are delays.
# 7 Bring snacks and entertainment. Save money and your sanity by carrying a few of your favorite things. You can avoid exorbitant airport prices and prevent becoming another hangry (hungry + angry) holiday traveler.
# 6 Don’t check your bag. If you can pack lightly and keep the essentials contained to your carry-on, you will save time – at check in and upon arrival. You will also eliminate the risk of your bag being lost in transit.
# 5 If you must check a bag, keep a change of clothes, some must-haves, and medications in your carry-on. Everyone’s list of essentials may vary, but we recommend a clean outfit and undergarments, a toothbrush and toothpaste, moisturizer, medications, eye drops, and hand sanitizer at minimum. Be sure to keep your liquids (under 3.4 ounces each) in a quart-sized, clear, plastic bag to comply with TSA requirements.
# 4 Plan to wrap presents when you arrive or ship them to your destination. And you won’t have to worry about wrapping them twice if TSA asks to see what’s inside.
# 3 Stay hydrated and carry a reusable water bottle. One of the most common – and easily avoidable – causes of traveler’s illness is dehydration. Drink plenty of water the night before your journey and bring along an empty bottle. Fill it after you pass through security, to stay hydrated and avoid excessive airport prices.
# 2 Stretch and move. Get exercise where you can. If you are able to, take the stairs instead of the escalator, stand up and stretch your legs when safe to do so during the flight, and use your layover time to wander around instead of sitting down. A little activity goes a long way in keeping your blood flowing, your spirits up, and swelling down.
# 1 Don’t leave your smile and sense of humor at home. No one enjoys the long lines, overbooked flights, fickle weather, unexpected delays, and cancelations that can come with holiday travel. But everyone can benefit from a positive attitude and a good laugh.
What are your top tips for holiday travel? Share them in the comments section below.