— Maya Angelou
“More Americans than ever on record – 115.6 million – will travel this holiday season, from Saturday, Dec. 21 through Wednesday, Jan. 1.(AAA article)” Whether traveling by air or car we have some tips on how to best prepare for the chaos. If you aren’t traveling but have visitors coming to you, check out the links below for ideas on how to make them feel most welcome after the journey.
Prepare to Fly
This article from Real Simple has great tips for your air travel from how to pack your bag, to how you can entertain kids and yourself during the flight. While you are limited to liquids you can bring along, you can bring whole foods from home. I often pack granola bars, fruit, and meals from home. It is worth noting though, having an apple go through the baggage x-ray machine will get your bag checked (it has happened to me more than once, ha!).
“As a rule, airports are least congested at times when normal human beings would rather be at home or even asleep. (Smarter Travel )”
Flight delays and cancellations can be a major disruption. US News has put together a slideshow with all the tips needed to navigate the unexpected. While trip insurance is usually offered for a fee with your plane ticket, my personal experience with filing a claim has been frustrating and drawn out. Outside of using insurance to reimburse you for the unexpected expenses, you may have credit cards or hotel reward memberships that offer a similar service.
Take a Drive
It is a 10-hour drive from my home in Nashville to the farm I grew up on, and while I have gotten used to it, it is not without challenges. It is difficult to prepare for sudden weather changes over several hundred miles. I have been caught in traffic, construction, snow storms, hail, and once, almost a tornado. Pack extra blankets, boots, water, and anything else you may need should you get stuck in unexpected weather.
“It is a brave parent who can face the prospect of driving for hours – or days – with a gaggle of kids in the back singing ‘Are we there yet?’ on repeat. (Lonely Planet )”
If you are new to long distance travel, USA Today has put together a helpful guide. Organization can be helpful, keeping food in a cooler, presents in one big box if possible and all emergency supplies easily accessible. Check out more tips here on how to keep hot foods hot, and cold foods cold whether traveling across town or across the country.
Hostess with the Mostess
Southern Living has created a great piece on hosting family and friends. Being accommodating of travel time and personal preferences will communicate how you appreciate your visitors. When meal planning for the holiday festivities be mindful of dietary restrictions and allergies. Creating a menu with options for guests to create a plate for their palate is an easy way to be inclusive.
“Tidy up your home, welcome guests, create a festive atmosphere and send everyone off with a light heart and good cheer. (Chicago Tribune)”
If you’re feeling extra lucky thinking of the nice folks in your life that host you each year, considering giving them a gift for their efforts. Delish has created a short slideshow of gift ideas to celebrate the people who put so much effort in planning and celebrating our holidays.
Good Plus Foundation supports low income families by providing equipment and tools. Their model supports growth and empowerment by providing equipment such as strollers and cribs for families after completing training or showing effort in support of the children. The provide emotional tool-based learning like anger management courses and aiding victims in addressing trauma.
You can help this organization with your support monetarily, through the donation of goods, or by giving your time.
Have holiday travel tips I didn’t discuss? I would love to hear them, give Her Story a shout by email or by tagging us on social media – #HSS.