5 Tips For Stress Free Holiday Travel

8 December 2014
Read Time: 2.4 mins

The first day of summer has come, marking the official start to warmer weather, longer days and the race to Christmas. There's shopping to be done, presents to be wrapped and holiday plans to be made. It's enough to frazzle even the most festive among us.

While there's little you can do to escape the crush of last minute shoppers in search of the perfect gift, you can ensure your holiday flights run according to plan. So, grab a pen and paper and take note because here are five tips to help you de-stress your holiday travel.

There's An App For That!

Get your mobile devices out, folks, because it's time to put them to good use. It may seem obvious in this day and age, but taking advantage of technology is one of the simplest ways to ease travel stress. Of course, devices provide excellent distractions on lengthy layovers (especially for antsy kids), but their advantage goes much deeper.

Before you hit the road, scan your visas and/or passport to store on your mobile devices.  It's also helpful to have a world clock, flight tracker and weather app on your phone as a solid tech foundation. From here, you can delve into more specialised apps like currency converters, local transport schedules, ATM finders, translators, emergency contacts across the globe and much more.

 Get the most out of your technology. (Image: Getty Images)

Time It Just Right

Christmas is one of the busiest travel periods of the year, which can make for frustrating waiting times at check-in and security. When deciding travel dates, consider leaving on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. You'll have a better chance of avoiding long lines.

If possible, choose an early morning flight. You're less likely to get caught up in traffic on the way to the airport and flights are more likely to be running on time. And, of course, plan on giving yourself plenty of time. You'll be able to accommodate any unforeseen delays, thus skipping the mad rush to your gate.

Find other helpful travel gadgets. 7 Pieces Of Travel Technology You Need For 215

Looking for a summer travel checklist? Essential Items Checklist For Your Summer Holiday

Pack Smart

I'm the first to admit that this is easier said than done, but packing smart can help you get your holiday off on the right foot. If your trip is a week or less, try to fit everything into a carry-on. You can check-in online before you get to the airport and head straight for security when you get there. You'll also save the frustration of lost baggage.

There are endless tutorials out there on how to efficiently pack a bag, but a few universal tips include:

  • Go over your itinerary and review weather forecasts before you start packing.
  • Roll your clothes to save on space.
  • Stuff socks and/or other miscellaneous accessories into your shoes.
  • Pack shoes with soles against the bottom of the bag or along the edges.
  • Wear heavier/bulkier items there and back.

Don't Forget To Rest

I know what you're saying; taking a break is the whole purpose! Well, you might be surprised at how busy travelling can be. This is especially true around the holidays when you're catching up with family and friends or exploring new destinations.

It's hard to resist the temptation to pack in as much as possible. You're sure to want to hit the ground running, but don't forget to schedule in a little recoup time upon arrival. It's a chance to let your body rest and readjust so you're in the right mood to enjoy your time away. Plus, who doesn't love the chance to just kick back?

Be Flexible

Sure, there are situations that will test even the most patient traveller, but 'rolling with the punches' can help you stay focused on the bigger picture. Don't get caught up in the little things and you may find that those annoying delays aren't so bad (more time to read that book you've been meaning to start).

Being flexible can also come with its own set of rewards. Should you find yourself waiting for an overbooked flight, if possible, volunteer to give up your seat. You may just find yourself walking away with an upgrade or discount on your next flight.

 Just relax and enjoy! (Image: Getty Images)

Carlie Tucker

Travelling is for discovering the unexpected. From fantastic meals in ramshackle joints to stumbling upon a best kept secret, I love those fortuitous travel moments that couldn't be planned if I tried.