Holidays are arguably “the most wonderful time of the year.” The excitement of visiting far-away family and friends and sharing in traditions can’t be beat. However, the stresses of modern-day holiday travel can threaten to stifle some of that enjoyment and cheer.
If you’re staying put for the holidays, luck you, but if you’re venturing out, either to visit with family and friends or to travel to a destination, there are some travel tips specific to the holidays that you should keep in mind.
Christmas and Thanksgiving are the busiest days for long-distance travel with the Thanksgiving period being the busiest. Airports are swarming with bags and bodies while highways are crowded with vehicles. Regardless of which holiday travel period that your’e venturing out, be sure to consider the following 7 tips to put more of the joy back into your holiday:
- If possible, avoid traveling the day before the holiday and the Sunday following as these are the days when ticket prices and traffic are at the highest.
- If you’re driving long distances, be sure to employ fuel-saving practices that can help preserve not only your dollars but also the environment (e.g. changing filters, checking tire pressure, and other general car maintenance activities).
- If you’re visiting Baltimore and have popular attractions or restaurants on your itinerary, during your trip planning process be sure to check their sites or call their offices for holiday hours and closures.
- Most cities have official websites chock full of useful information. Baltimore.org serves as that resource for Charmed City. Visitors’ Bureaus also offer a list of information on special events, ceremonies, and parades that may be taking place during the holidays.
- Book your reservations for accommodations at least six months in advance for the more popular hotels and resorts, especially if they offer special events and programming during the holiday period.
- The weather in general is unpredictable but the holidays can be the riskiest time of the year for air travel. With winter storms being more prominent in the November – January months, trip insurance is a good idea to protect our investment. A contingency/back-up plan is an even better idea to protect your holiday plans.
- If you’ll be participating in exchanging gifts, consider shipping packages ahead of you or having them delivered directly from the merchant.
All in all, traveling during the holidays requires more patience and strategic planning to ensure you arrive at your destination with less stress and more holiday joy.