Whether by plane, train, or automobile, there is no denying that travel is stressful. Popular movies and books have romanticized travel to the point of making it seem desirable to be stuck on a train for days at a time. When you have the experience first hand, however, you soon realize that traveling is not what its cracked up to be. Around the holidays, travel becomes even more stressful. Tensions are high; everyone wants to get to their destination in order to see their loved ones in record time. The amount of temper tantrums that I’ve witnessed perpetrated by fully grown adults during traveling is quite astonishing, and most cases seem to be occurring before or just after Christmas is over. No one likes hearing their flight is cancelled when its -15 degrees outside and they’ve been dragging around their suitcase for hours, children in tow. The winter and the holidays create an atmosphere that is neither pleasant nor calm in the station or airport. The only thing you have in common with the guy taking up both his seat and a quarter of yours, the crying baby in the back, and the chatty women behind you is that you all just want to go home. However, there are things to do to make your holidays travels a little more comfortable.
- Take a cab. Not all the way to your destination of course, but take one to the airport or train station. Cabs are expensive these days but you will save yourself peace of mind and avoid the hassle of commuting to your destination. You can at least have a few moments of peace before you greet the hustle and bustle of the airport.
- If you’re traveling with your pet, invest in a good carrier. Let’s face it, your pet is probably 100% less excited about traveling for the holidays than you are (although 0 multiplied by 100 is still 0…) so make sure they can be comfortable during the trip. You’ll be less stressed because of it, and your fellow passengers will be happy not to sit beside a stressed out animal. Find a pet store near you and invest in a good sturdy crate or carrier, some treats, and something to keep them occupied.
- Pack light. You see those people arguing with the security agent over their seemingly endless pile of luggage. No Sir, you can’t take eighteen pieces of luggage in the cabin, you’ll have to check those, and yes it will be an extra 45 dollars per bag. Don’t be that guy or girl. Pack what you need, and then half that, and then bring that to the airport. You don’t need to bring eight shirts for a three day excursion. Check out a few local stores and perhaps invest in a new suitcase that is sleek and light. Definitely go for one will wheels if you value the integrity of your shoulders at all.
- Ship gifts ahead of time. I love my family, I really do. But I do not want to be spending extra money to check a bag full of presents, and then drag said presents around Pearson Airport as I try to find a cab to their house. No way. I shipped my gifts ahead of time, so they would arrive just before Christmas and additionally would cause me no stress during my travels. If you use 411 Directory Assistance, you can find a courier service that will get your treasures to your loved ones ahead of time. This may cost a bit of cash, but it may end up being cheaper than having to pay for oversize or overweight baggage.