~ Travel Tips

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Are you ready to Travel for the Holidays?

Going to another country for the holidays is a great way to learn about a new culture. In some instances the travel is to visit family that is located there instead of just for a vacation. Regardless of the reason why you are traveling to another country during the holidays, you need to make sure you are prepared for the trip.

For most countries you are going to need a passport with a photo ID. This will allow you to remain in the country for a specified amount of time. Generally, this time frame is from 30 days to 90 days. You can take your passport photo at any post office, but it is going to take several weeks to get it back. There is an expedited option and it is very expensive. If you wait until the holiday time to obtain your passport it is going to take much longer, even for the expedited option.

Make sure you keep your passport and other pertinent travel documents in a safe place. You don’t want them to get lost or stolen as this can delay your travel plans. Make sure you arrive early for your flight so that you can get through all of the necessary inspections and verifications in plenty of time.

There may be vaccinations that you are required to get and others that you are encouraged to get before you can travel to certain countries for the holidays. Plan ahead and find out what these vaccinations are and then schedule appointments with your doctor. Some of the required vaccinations have to be given in a series with a specific amount of time between each shot in the series to be administered. Therefore you don’t want to wait until close to your time of travel to take care of this matter.

Depending on where you are traveling, you may have to deal with a different type of currency. You can get your money exchanged at your local bank before you leave. This will save you time trying to take care of it when you arrive in the other country for the holidays. There may be language differences as well that you need to take into consideration.

Be careful what you pack when you travel for the holidays. Most modes of transportation have strict guidelines on the size of your luggage, how many bags each person can have, and the weight guidelines. They will be enforcing these restrictions during the holidays because of the volume of people traveling. You don’t want to have to get rid of some of your items or purchase more bags at the gift shop.

Make sure you are aware of how much luggage you have for your return trip as well. While it can be fun to purchase items while you are there, think about how you will get them back. It may be a good idea to pack an extra bag in your luggage when you go so you can fill it up for the trip back. Another idea is to have items shipped but that can be quite expensive.

While traveling to another country for the holidays can be exciting, you need to remember that their customs may be significantly different than your own. Be respectful of such differences to avoid any conflicts while you are in that country. It is a good idea to read about the various customs that will be in place so you won’t reach them by accident.

Avoid Conflicts when you Travel for the Holidays

It can be great fun to spend the holidays with your family and friends, but there always seems to be a few people that you wish to avoid as well. Planning ahead can help you to avoid conflicts when you travel for the holidays. Remember that each person is entitled to their own thoughts and opinions. Agree to disagree on issues that pertain to politics and various types of controversial issues.

Everyone should take care of their own children during a gathering for the holidays. This is to prevent issues that arise when different parenting styles are in play. Make sure your children understand before you travel for the holidays that you expect them to follow the same rules they have at home regardless of what other children there will be allowed to do. This will help to prevent confusion and frustration for everyone involved in the gathering for the holidays.

In order to ensure everyone has a great time let those that will be in attendance help to place the events. Make sure someone is in charge of activities for the children to enjoy too. Take a look at the span of age groups that will be present at the event and either come up with activities for all of them to enjoy together or break them up into groups based on age.

Make sure everyone gets to take on a role for the holiday gathering that they will enjoy. This way the overall event will be a success and everyone will look forward to attending. Don’t leave certain people to clean up from the dinner or the activities just because you assume that is what they want to do. Knowing what your role is before you travel for the holidays allows you to be prepared for it.

Food is a common part of any holiday gathering but it can be a problem for some people. Before you travel for the holidays make sure the host is aware of any special foods you will need to have or to avoid. They can even offer dishes without meat for those that are on a vegetarian diet. Some people have an allergy to peanut oil or other foods though that need to be taken into consideration. Don’t wait until you arrive to tell them as it can mean foods they spent time preparing will have to be thrown out.

If you have an unresolved issue with someone that will be at the family gathering you should attempt to contact them prior to the event. This will help both of you to relieve the tension and anxiety over the situation. If it is something that can’t be resolved then ask them to agree to put your differences aside for the sake of everyone else that will be in attendance.

It doesn’t mean you have to become best friends at the event but don’t waste your energy being in conflict with the individual. Focus on the good memories that you can create for your family during the holidays instead. Too many families end up with parties missing for the gathering because they don’t want to attend if someone else is. Taking the high road so that everyone can enjoy their holiday more is an amazing gift you can give to them.

Children Traveling alone for the Holidays

Due to the number of non-traditional families in our society, it is common for custody agreements to require children to travel over the holidays to be with the other parent. This is an issue that many parents have to deal with in the best way possible. If the parents live in close proximity they can easily drive them to the agreed upon destination. If the divorce is amicable it may even be possible for each parent to drive half way for the exchange of the children.

However, it isn’t always possible for parents to be able to do this for one reason or another and that means that children will end up traveling alone for the holidays. You want to make this as smooth of a process for them as you possibly can. Make sure you talk to your child about the process and they know exactly what will be taking place. It is important that you talk to them about not going with strangers for any reason while they are traveling alone for the holidays.

Make sure you pack your child plenty of activities for them to entertain themselves during the flight. It is a good idea to pack them drinks and snacks too in case they get hungry. Never leave your child until they have boarded the type of transportation they are taking. If there is a layover or a cancellation they will be left alone.

If possible send your child with a cell phone they can use in the case of emergencies. You should also pack a list of contact phone numbers with them and any medical information that could be useful in the event of an accident. Avoid placing children who are flying alone for the holidays on those flights that have layovers if you can help it. In the event that it is necessary make sure a flight attendant will be escorting them to that location.

The safest mode of transportation for you child if they are traveling alone to visit the other parent for the holidays is to book them a flight. It may be more expensive but you will be more confident about them going alone. If possible don’t send your child alone on a flight if they have never been on an airplane before. The stress of it can be too much for them to handle.

Let the airline know at the time of booking that your child will be traveling alone. They will keep a close eye on the child during the flight and find out who they have to be delivered to at the airport. This person will need to have their photo ID with them even if the child knows them in order to follow safety procedures. Most airlines consider a minor to be traveling alone for the holidays if they are between 5 and 15 years of age. Younger children aren’t allowed to travel alone.

It is against the rules for children under 8 years of age to travel alone on Amtrak. Those between the ages of 8 and 15 may travel alone as long as it is not an overnight trip. They must reach their destination no later than 9 pm. The child isn’t allowed to transfer trains either or to get off at any locations other than the one printed on their ticket.

The child will be interviewed by a staff member when they are brought to the train station. If the child doesn’t appear to be mature enough to travel alone they will not be allowed on the train and the ticket price will be refunded. If they are allowed to board the parent must sign a waiver releasing Amtrak from all liability. The child will be issued a wristband so that all staff members will know they are traveling alone.

Greyhound doesn’t allow children under 8 years of age to travel alone either. This isn’t an option at all of the bus ride is more than 250 miles at Greyhound has that limit on the number of miles a child can be on the bus. To get off for any reason at a rest area or bus stop the child must be accompanied by the bus driver. They are also required to sit in the seat immediately behind the bus driver.


Dealing with Motion Sickness when you travel for the Holidays

If you or someone in your family suffers from motion sickness then you have an extra element to prepare for when you think about traveling for the holidays. Not everyone experiences motion sickness the same and it may not happen every time. For example some people get motion sick on a cruise ship but not while they are in a car. Others may get queasy when they are on a train but not on an airplane.

Common symptoms of motion sickness include sweating, nausea, dizziness, saliva in the mouth that is more than usual, and vomiting. Most people know when it is coming on and do all they can to minimize the effects. Many women many suffer from motion sickness when they are pregnant due to the changes taken place in their body. Children are also quite susceptible to it as well.

There are plenty of things you can do on your own to help prevent the effects of motion sickness from occurring. Many adults find they don’t suffer from motion sickness if they drive the car. This is because the sensors in their brain view the scenery flashing by differently when they are in the driver’s seat. This is why so many get sick when they travel by train. If you are susceptible to motion sickness as a passenger in a car avoid a window seat on a train. You also want to avoid those seats that face backwards.

Children should avoid trying to play games or read books in a moving vehicle if they suffer from motion sickness. They should also ride in the middle seat in order to offer them a view out the front of the vehicle instead of from their peripheral vision on the side windows. Offer them light snacks before travel such as crackers and water. Avoid having them travel on an empty stomach or after eating a large meal.

For those that still suffer from motion sickness, an over the counter or a prescription medication may be required for successful holiday travel to take place. Make sure you carefully follow the instructions of such medications. Don’t exceed the recommended dose. If it says to take it with food or water then make sure you do so. Some of them require consumption during a specific period of time prior to your departure so pay attention to this important detail.

Even so, no method or medication is 100% foolproof when it comes to motion sickness. Some people experience it only once in a while and others deal with it all the time. Try to get to some fresh air if possible. If you are on an airplane turn on the air above you and take slow, deep breaths. You will find bags offered in case you do end up having to vomit. You can also try to make your way to the bathroom where you will have more privacy.

While it may be embarrassing you need to understand you aren’t the only one that has problems with motion sickness. The fact that the mode of transportation you are taking may be full during the holiday season can be stressful but you will never have to see most of them ever again. You may want to carry extra clothing with you for those in your part that do suffer from motion sickness, especially children who may end up vomiting on their clothing.

Don’t let your holiday travel plans be stopped due to your fear of suffering from motion sickness. Do all you can to subside the symptoms on your own. If that isn’t effective then try various over the counter products. As a last resort as your doctor for a prescription medication to help ensure you can get through the travel process so you can enjoy your holidays. If you find certain types of transportation are more difficult for you than others you should avoid them if possible.

Holiday Cruises

Cruise ships are becoming more popular for holidays than ever due to the amount of entertainment they offer. Many people have always had the belief that a holiday cruise is more than they can afford. Yet the prices are quite reasonable and you can choose various amenities the cruise ship offers as well as the location. This is a great way for the entire family to share the holidays without anyone having to plan the activities, cook the food, or make enough room for everyone.

Make sure you book your holiday cruise early though as they sell out fast. If you have a large number of people in your party you don’t want any of them to get left out. You can get the best prices and choose the cabin size you want too by booking your holiday cruise early. You will be responsible for your own transportation to the port so make sure you consider that in your price as well.

If you decide to take a holiday cruise for Christmas you will find everything is decorated with the theme. There will even be a Santa Claus to greet children on the cruise ship. You can bet the lines will be much shorter than those in your local department stores. Some of the most popular holiday cruises are those by Disney that include a trip to Disneyland or Disney World. If you are looking for a white Christmas then you may want to travel to Alaska or Antarctica. For a warmer Christmas you may want a cruise to the Caribbean.

In order to get the most enjoyment out of a holiday cruise, find out the various activities that are offered. Make sure there is plenty for everyone in your group to enjoy. If you find a particular cruise offers too many activities that you won’t take part in you need to look for another cruise that is more compatible with your hobbies and lifestyle.

The internet is a great place to compare prices for various holiday cruises and you can take a look at the different pictures too. Knowing the exact layout of the cruise ship and what your cabin will look like can help to relieve the anxiety associated with it. This will also help to build the excitement for all who will be traveling with you. Simply e-mail them with the information so that they can look at it too.

Your local travel agent will also have plenty of brochures you can pick up for free to explore the options for holiday cruises. They can help you plan the trip that you want for the very best price if you aren’t able to do it yourself. This is a great option if there are several parties going on the holiday cruise and they want to each pay separately. They can ensure everyone gets rooms by each other and take care of other such details to make the holiday cruise even more of a success.

In order to ensure everyone enjoys the holiday cruise, let those attending has a say in where you will go and the type of cruise you will have. The price may be a factor for some of the people involved so make sure you try to find something moderately priced. There are holiday cruise ships specifically for adults as well as those designed for families.


Holiday Travel by Train

More and more people are turning to Amtrak as a reliable way to travel for the holidays. After the terrorist attacks of 09/11/01, airport security has become increasingly difficult to get through. As a result most airports have long lines and delays taking place around the holidays because they don’t want to become lax even when it is busy.

Traveling with children for the holidays can be stressful, especially if you are traveling with them alone. Keeping them entertained in a car for the trip is often a two person job so one can drive and one can play games or offer snacks to keep everyone in the vehicle happy for the duration of the trip.

Airplanes are very cramped and most people don’t do well with children roaming the isles or crying during the flight. For younger children, the amount of pressure that can build in their ears on an airplane is very painful. Being stuck on a runway for hours will definitely make children uncomfortable and these delays often happen around the holidays. If you have ever tried to change diapers in the small airplane bathrooms you will know that it isn’t an easy feat to accomplish.

Amtrak is very family oriented so this may be the best mode of transportation for your holiday travel. The cars are roomy and you are able to get up and walk around freely. There is plenty of scenery along the railway routes too for you to enjoy.

If you are be going on a long trip for the holidays, Amtrak offers sleeping cars of various sizes. This is a great way for your children to have the room they need to take a nap and to play. Most of the family sleeping cars offer enough space for two adults and two children comfortably.

You will find great holiday travel deals on Amtrak when you reserve a sleep car as well. Many times you will get coupons for free meals offered in the dining car. This is an expense you will have to cover on your own otherwise so it helps offset the cost of the sleep car.

Make sure you make reservations for Amtrak early though. They tickets often sell out quickly for holiday travel and they have a limited number of sleeping cars. You don’t want to be stuck without one or have to accept one that is too small for comfort because you waited too long to make your reservation.

Most train stations are very well set up and you can even leave your car there when you board the Amtrak for free. Most airports charge you by the day to leave your vehicle behind and that is an expense that quickly adds up. You can either have your family or friends pick you up at the train station for your destination or choose alternate modes of transportation. There will likely be rental cars at the terminal or you can take a taxi cab.

You can go online to find out the various destinations that Amtrak travels to. If they don’t go to your exact location but within 100 miles you may want to consider having someone pick you up there or to rent a car to go the rest of the way. Amtrak is affordable and much more comfortable than taking an airplane or traveling all that way in a car.

Holiday Travel with your Pets

The holidays are a time when many people travel, and that leads to the dilemma of what to do with the family pets. Many people choose to bring them along because they don’t have anyone to care for them and they don’t want to place them in a dog kennel for the duration of their holiday trip.

Traveling with your pets for the holidays can be a pleasant experience if you are prepared for it. Otherwise it can turn into a nightmare due to the care your pets need and where you will be staying. If you are visiting family or friends of the holidays you really need to make sure they are comfortable with you bringing you pets along.

Keep in mind that most hotels won’t allow you to keep pets in your room. Make sure you look into this information before you secure the reservation. Those hotels that do offer you the right to bring your pets will you will charge you a deposit just in case your pet destroys something in the room during your stay.

Most airlines will make accommodations for your pets to travel in the plane but they have to be secured in a carrier. This can be very stressful for pets that are used to roaming around freely. They will have to fly in the cargo area of the plane unless the airline allows small cats and small dogs to be placed under your seat for the duration of the flight.

If you plan to place your pet in a carrier let them get used to it in the weeks prior to your travel plans for the holidays. This way they won’t be so overwhelmed by the concept of being in the carrier for the duration of the flight. This can be quite traumatic for your pet and you don’t want them injuring themselves during the flight.

 Keep in mind that they will charge you more if your pet is aboard the plane with you instead of with the cargo. Still, this is a great way to ensure your pet is being well cared for while your travel for the holidays. If you have any connecting flights though you will definitely want to keep your pet on board with you. The risk of losing your pet this way will really put a damper on the holiday festivities.

You will not be able to take your pets along with you on the bus lines or the train due to their strict guidelines. The only exception to this rule is seeing eye dogs as not allowing them on board is a violation under the Americans with Disabilities Act. As a result many people traveling with pets for the holidays decide to take their own vehicle.

Make sure you have plenty of food and water for them so they can stay hydrated and feeling well. If you are traveling by car you need to plan to stop often for them to exercise and use the bathroom. It is a good idea to take along their favorite toys or blankets in order to minimize their stress during travel.

Pay close attention to the weather for your holiday travel as it can be quite a change for your pet. They are likely used to their normal climate and they may have trouble coping with the extreme heat or the extreme cold.

It is very possible to travel with your pets for the holidays but it take plenty of planning. You want them to be as comfortable as possible without it affecting your ability to enjoy traveling for the holidays as well. Even though you may want to have your pets with you, carefully weigh the decision. If you determine that they travel conditions won’t be right for them then find a quality kennel for them to stay at so you can still enjoy your holiday travel.

How to Travel with Food for the Holidays

Preparing food to share at the holiday festivities is a common practice in our society. However, you need to be able to travel with the food so that it will remain delicious when you arrive at your destination. Foods can move around causing them not to look as pretty when you arrive. You also don’t want the food to tip over and get all over your vehicle. This can be extremely messy as well as be quite frustrating.

There are some wonderful containers out there that allow you to transport foods for the holidays without too much trouble. They are insulated containers that will keep the foods hot or cold. Many of them come with a covering that zips up around them like a suitcase. They even come with a handle. You should consider placing these items in a box so they won’t have as much room to move around while you travel to your holiday destination.

You do need to be very careful about food spoiling when you transport it for the holidays. You definitely don’t want to get anyone sick due to food poisoning. If it will be hot or you are traveling a long distance avoid foods such as potato salad with mayonnaise that can easily spoil quickly. Be prepared for delays too because the amount of people traveling on the roads over the holidays can result in the food being in your car for hours more than you had originally anticipated.

You can also place such items in a cooler with plenty of ice to keep them cold while you are traveling your holiday destination. Make sure you keep an eye on the amount of ice in the cooler and then refill it as necessary. If you are carrying breast milk for an infant along for the holiday travel you need to keep it cold in a cooler as well.

You may find it is much easier to ask the host of the holiday gathering if you can prepare the foods you want to contribute to the dinner upon your arrival. This way you can bring all the ingredients and prepare them without worrying about them moving around or spoiling. If you need some refrigerated items you can ask the host to pick them up for you and then pay them later. This is much easier than trying to fight your way into a packed grocery store around the holidays or finding them closed.

The downside to this is that you may be preparing foods in a kitchen you are unfamiliar with. The oven may bake at a different rate than yours so make sure you keep a close eye on baking times. You should also bring other clothing to change into once you have completed your kitchen duties. This way you don’t have to worry about getting food on them that will make you self conscious as you sit down to visit with other guests.

Many people that travel for the holidays want to bring food to share with others. It can be your famous cheesecake or your mom’s recipe for sweet potatoes. Make sure you plan ahead to have all the equipment and utensils you will need to safely transport foods for the holidays. You are better off arriving empty handed than with food that has been in compromising conditions during the course of travel.

Keep up to Date with the Weather During Holiday Travel

It is very important that you keep yourself aware of the weather for holiday travel. During the colder times of the year many parts of the world experience heavy snowstorms and even blizzards. You need to be aware of what is unfolding on the path you will be taking to your holiday destination. This will allow you to be very prepared for it and have a safe journey.

To ensure you pack the right clothing, pay attention to the weather in the days before you pack. Your local news channel may not be of assistance if you are travel a long way for the holidays. The internet is the best source of information for finding up to date weather that will span the course of your holiday travel. You can also contact someone where you are traveling to and have them keep an eye on their local weather reports for you.

If you are taking a flight, train, or bus to get to your destination you will want to find out what their policies are for delays due to the weather. If the weather is questionable before you leave to the terminal you will want to call first. There is no point of you sitting there instead of in the comfort of you home if the transportation has been delayed by several hours or canceled due to the weather.

Pay close attention to when the flight will be rescheduled so you can adjust your plans. Too many people show up at the airport hoping for the best and then end up spending countless hours will nothing to do. One reason why people do this is the fear of not being able to drive to the airport due to the bad weather. You will have to decide if that is something you are willing to risk or if you are going to hang out at the airport and see what happens.

If it is warm when you leave home but it will be significantly chilly where you arrive, make sure you carry on a jacket with you. Pay attention to your shoes as well because you don’t want to be slipping or risk falling down out there. Your body won’t be able to handle the quick change in temperature so make sure you are prepared for what you will find. Likewise, if you are traveling from a cold climate to a warm one for the holidays make sure you dress in layers so you can stay comfortable upon arrival.

For those driving to their holiday destination, paying attention to the weather reports is also important. You will be amazed at how many people drive from a location where there is no snow and then panic when they are having to drive in it with bumper to bumper cars all along the interstate.

Tune in to local weather channels on the radio to find out about any road closures, detours, or accidents. It is a good idea to have an alternate route printed out just in case these things occur. If you find the weather has become too severe for safe travel you need to be responsible and get a hotel room until conditions improve.

Make sure your vehicle is equipped with all the features it needs to handle the changes in the weather. You should have a good heater with defrost options and an air conditioner that will help you to stay cool. Your windshield wipers and hazard lights also need to be working. If you have any issues with these various features you need to fix them before you engage in holiday travel or rent another vehicle for the trip.

As a holiday traveler, it is your responsibility to keep up to date with the weather. While it can significantly affect the plans you had for the holidays there is nothing you can do about it. Fighting with Mother Nature is a losing battle that you don’t want to be on the other side of. Being prepared for the weather can mean the difference between a safe holiday trip and one that is full of regrets later on.

Navigation Systems you can use for Holiday Travel

Nothing is more frustrating that trying to travel for the holidays and not be able to figure out how to get there. Even if you have a plan when you leave home, things can get turned around quickly if you don’t have a good sense of direction. Stopping for directions isn’t always effective because people don’t always have the information you need to get to your destination.

There are plenty of amazing navigation systems you can use to help take the frustration out of holiday travel though. Advances in technology offer us a great way to have these tools at our fingertips. Many people travel with their laptop computers and you can access travel routes either online or with various types of computer software programs.

Even a simple compass in your vehicle can assist you when you least expect it. I was recently driving along when there was a detour due to road construction. I followed everyone else and then came to some signs. It said 5 miles East and then 11 Miles North to get to my destination. The problem was there were no arrows and I didn’t know which way I was headed on that road. Luckily my car has a built in compass so I was able to figure it out. If you vehicle doesn’t have one then you need to purchase one. It will come in handy as you travel for the holidays.

This information will allow you to find the fastest route as well as the shortest route to get to your holiday destination. You can also find the route that has access to hotels, restaurants, and rest areas. This is great information if you are traveling with children because you will find you have to stop more often in order to keep everyone happy.

Having a laptop can also keep you up to date with the weather conditions during your holiday travel. This is important because if roads are closed or there are delays due to an accident you can easily find yourself an alternate route. Many people have similar types of navigation systems on their cell phones. The most high tech gadget is the very popular iPhone. If offers access to the internet and has a 3 ½ inch monitor for you to view the information on.

Many vehicles feature a Global Positioning System known as GPS. There are some models you can purchase separately and then add them to any model of vehicle that you have. This is a very good tool that you will always have when you are operating your vehicle. Even if you don’t know exactly where you are, a satellite system does and it send that information to the GPS system. You can then enter the information for your travel destination and it will give you the directions you need to get there.

Don’t spend your time traveling for the holidays caught up in traffic or bad weather. You also don’t want to drive for hours and then realize you have been going the wrong direction. The landscaping of the area can change over the years leaving you unfamiliar with the way to get there on your own. These types of navigational tools will definitely help you to get your barrings and to arrive for the holidays on time.

Packing for Holiday Travel

We have all seen those people with tons of luggage arriving at the airport or traveling on the highway with their car crammed so full of items that they passengers have very little room to breath. There are ways to pack light for the holidays but to also ensure you have everything you need. This will definitely make your holiday travel plans much more enjoyable.

To help ensure you don’t forget anything important, make yourself a list of items you can’t leave behind. Keep the list handy so you can add to it as you think of something else. Make sure you check the weather forecast in the days right before you pack. This way you can be sure to have outfits and shoes that are going to work well for both the occasions and the weather. You don’t want to be stuck in the snow with nothing but high heels to wear for the evening.

Avoid packing clothing for holiday travel that can get ruined or stained if something gets spilled. You don’t want to be self conscious about the drink you spilled on it. If you are attending parties then it is very possible someone else can bump into you. Be prepared for such accidents to take place and try not to let them ruin your fun when you travel for the holidays.

If you will be staying in a hotel, chances are they will have plenty of items you need that you can eliminate from your luggage. Contact the hotel directly or check out their website to be sure. Common items found that you can leave behind include soap, shampoo, conditioner, location, a blow dryer, and an iron.

If you do have to pack liquid items, try to use trail sizes or to buy small containers to fill from larger bottles. Make sure these items are placed in a make up bag or a freezer bag. This way if they happen to leak they won’t get on your clothing.

Take a close look at the makeup and perfume you use. It is very possible that you can get by with packing only one kind of perfume and make up colors that offer you plenty of selection. This is more effective than packing your entire make up collection and then deciding what you will use once you arrive. You also want to leave expensive jewelry behind because you don’t want it to get lost or stolen. If you aren’t able to wear it when you travel then it is best not to take it at all.

You will be amazed at how much room is lost in a suitcase due to not taking the time to fold up items properly. You have to get creative if you want to maximize the amount of space you have. It is easy to place socks and underwear into your shoes so they won’t take up any space at all.

Take the time to fold pants and shirts neatly into the suitcase so you can fit more of them in. You don’t want to have your bags so full you have to sit on them to close them. This damages the zippers and it will result in you having to replace your luggage sooner than you should. If your luggage is chosen for inspection during your holiday travel it won’t be such a chore for the inspectors if you have taken your time to pack wisely.

Planning a Flight around the Holidays

There is always a chance that your flight will get cancelled or delayed regardless of when you fly. However, the holidays are a very busy time for airports and you don’t want to spend Christmas there instead of with your family. Be prepared for long lines at the check in desk and security. Even though you should be at the airport two hours before your plane takes off during normal travel times, you will want to increase that up to three hours when you travel around the holidays.

Try to keep the amount of items you bring along to a minimum. It will make checking in your baggage easier and prevent such items from being lost or damaged. If you are traveling for Christmas and you want to send gifts it is a good idea to mail them separately and they will be there when you arrive. If you do decide to pack them don’t wrap them as they are subject to being inspected. You can wrap the gifts when you arrive at your destination.

Traveling around Thanksgiving or Christmas always comes with the risk of the weather being a problem so make sure you are prepared. Some travelers have had their flights delayed for a couple of days due to storms coming in during these times. It is a good idea to arrive at the airport prepared for the worst. Make sure you have plenty of activities with you for children to stay busy with. You also want to carry snacks and drinks so you don’t have to pay the outrageous prices at the airport for these items.

If you have specific dates of travel in order to be spend the holidays away from home you will want to secure your travel arrangements early. Look for the best possible deals online and with a travel agent. If you want until the last minute though in hopes of prices dropping you may be disappointed that you won’t get to go because the flights are sold out.

Many people save money on flights by taking connections or accepting a layover or two. You may want to skip this money saving tip during the holidays just because most airports will be very busy. You don’t want to have to deal with hurrying across a busy airport terminal to find your connecting flight. If you can get a decent price on a direct flight then make sure you do so.

It is very important that you have all your travel documents and a printed copy of your travel itinerary. Most airline staff will be overwhelmed with people asking for assistance during this time of the year. You don’t want to arrive and discover that you don’t have a reservation after all and that there is not a space on the plane for you.

If you want to avoid the crowds during holiday travel, consider taking a very early morning flight or a late evening flight. You will find these are often less expensive as well. While it may interrupt your normal sleep patterns, it can help to reduce the amount of stress and anxiety while you are traveling during the holidays.

For those planning to fly with children around the holidays, make sure you keep a careful eye on them. They can quickly become separated from your family in the crowd of people moving around. Strollers are a good option for small children. Make sure all the adults in the party know which flight they are taking and the airline in case they get separated as well.

You can have a fabulous trip to visit your family and friends over the holidays if you are prepared. Paying attention to the guidelines of the airlines is very important to ensure you have a save trip. Being on time will help to ensure that you don’t have your plans crushed because you have to catch a plane in the following days.

Popular Vacation Spots that are perfect for the Holidays

Many people get time off over the holidays, and they want to make the most of that time. There are plenty of places where you can spend the holidays enjoying a lovely vacation. Disneyland and Disney World are among the busiest places on holidays, including Christmas day. People of all ages find the magic kingdoms to be a delightful place to make memories for the holidays with their entire family.

Since Thanksgiving falls on a Thursday, many people find themselves with a four or five day weekend over that period of time. Going to Las Vegas is a great place to spend this holiday as it is always alive with action 24 hours per day. You will also find plenty of restaurants in Las Vegas that offer you the best Thanksgiving Day meal you have ever been a part of.

Las Vegas is also one of the most popular locations for New Years Eve. The entire strip is shut down from traffic and people are dancing, drinking, and having a good time in the streets. Many people compare it to the activities taking place in New Orleans for Mardi Gras.

Spring break is a very popular holiday for the high school and college crowds. They often choose to spend that time at various beaches including those in Florida and California. Hotels are over run with these people having parties all night long and then spending their days at the beach.

Most of these beaches host fabulous activities during spring break to make sure people keep coming back year after year. Live music, dances, and various contests are just a sample of the different contests you can enter. Since spring break falls differently for various schools, these beaches are often full from the second week of March until the very end of the month. 

Surprising someone you love with a fun vacation to another country or a part of the world they have always wanted to see is a great way to share the holidays. Imagine waking up Christmas morning in Spain or Paris instead of at home. There are plenty of great places that you can see during the holidays so don’t limit your options.

The down side to traveling to popular vacation spots for the holidays is that they are in demand. That means you will likely pay more to visit them during that time of year than normal. You will also need to make your reservations early or you will find that all the flights or the hotels have sold out and you won’t be able to spend the holidays there.

Take a look at various vacation package deals to help you save as much money as possible when you take a vacation over the holidays. Most package deals for travel include your airfare, hotel accommodations, and a rental car if you want one. You can also choose to add tickets for shows or events you want to take part in.

Once you have decided where you want to spend the holidays, you can start comparing prices. Find out what your local travel agent can offer you and surf the internet on your own. Don’t forget to look in the travel section of the newspaper or to take advantage of advertisements you get in the mail. For many people the ability to be able to take a vacation over the holidays will depend on the price they are able to get the trip for.

There will also be more people to deal with at that particular vacation spot over the holidays in most instances. If you don’t like being a part of a large crowd or you hate to wait in line, you will want to prepare yourself for these issues while vacationing over the holidays. This way you can focus on having a great time instead of getting stressed out over such issues that you have no control over.

Preparing your Home for Holiday Travel

While you are likely very excited about your upcoming plans to travel for the holidays, you need to make sure you take the time to prepare your home as well. Criminals are very aware that people travel for the holidays and they look for homes to target during that period of time. There is a much lower risk of getting caught during this time because so many people are paying attention to their own plans.

Make sure you carefully check all the doors and the windows before you leave for the holidays. They should all be securely locked to prevent someone from slipping into them undetected. If you have an alarm system you want to make sure you set it before you head out. Put fresh batteries is motion lights and outdoor video equipment that you may have installed. Don’t leave extra keys under the mat or other common locations where criminals can easily find them and walk right into your home.

You don’t want your home to appear to be empty when you travel for the holidays. If possible have a friend or neighbor stop by daily. Most criminals stake out homes so if they see different lights on or they see fresh footprints in the snow they will be less likely to target your home.

Either have someone collect your mail and newspapers daily or put them on hold until you return from your holiday travel. Not only is this a dead give away that you are out of town, it can also lead to identity theft. All it takes is for a criminal to get their hands on your bank statement or a credit card statement and they could wipe out your account and charge items that you will have against your credit card.

If you are traveling during the colder part of the year for the holidays, have someone shovel your driveway and sidewalks. This definitely gives the impression that you are home or at least that someone is keeping a very close eye on your home. You also want to set your thermostat at a decent temperature while you are way. The added expense of the heating bill will be nothing compared to the damage from broken pipes that may have froze due to the drop in temperatures while you were traveling for the holidays.

Make sure a friend or a neighbor has a way to contact you in the event of an emergency involving your home while you are away for the holidays. Hopefully they won’t need to contact you but having such measures in place can be very beneficial if an issue does arise. They may be able to take care of low priority issues for you such as the sprinkler system not turning off or someone hitting your mailbox with their vehicle due to sliding on icy roads.

It can be very nice to travel for the holidays, but do all you can in order to ensure your home will be protected while you are away. You don’t want to come home and find that your home has been burglarized or later that your personal information has been compromised. Some planning before you travel for the holidays will help to ensure everything is safe and sound when you return.

Preparing your Vehicle for Holiday Travel

No one wants to have their holiday travel plans ruined due to their vehicle breaking down, so make sure you give it plenty of attention before hand. Complete a thorough check of all the routine items on your vehicle. The oil should be changed and you will want to check all the fluids including the transmission fluid, windshield wiper fluid, and brake fluid.

Don’t wait until something breaks on your vehicle to replace it, especially when you are traveling for the holidays. Carefully inspect all of the hoses for signs of wear as you never know when they will end up breaking. If you haven’t used your windshield wipers for a while make sure they are in good condition.

Have someone stand behind your vehicle so you can make sure both of your turn signals work as well as your break lights. Replace any bulbs that are burned out or seem to be dim. Do the same for your headlights on both low beams and high beams. This will ensure other vehicles are able to see you coming and know when you are planning to stop or to turn. It is a good idea to carry fuses in your glove box so that you can replace any that may burn out during your travel for the holidays.

Your tires are very important when you are traveling for the holidays. Check the wear patterns on the tread to make sure they are in good shape. Of the two front tires are wearing unevenly you may need to have your vehicle aligned. You may find it is time to rotate the tires on your vehicle as well. This involves moving the front ones to the back and the back ones to the front.

Depending on the time of year when you travel for the holidays, you may experience bad weather. Make sure you have a survival kit in your car that includes tire changes which many end up being mandatory to drive on the roads in some areas. You also want this survival kit to include a flashlight with fresh batteries, flares, food, water, a first aid kit, blankets, a car jack, and a gas can.

It is a good idea to make sure you have a cell phone will you as well. Most models come with a battery charger that plugs right into your cigarette lighter so you don’t have to worry about the battery running low while you are traveling for the holidays. If you don’t want to get caught up in a lengthy cell phone contract, look for those offered at retail stores. They are inexpensive and they work well. However, you buy the amount of minutes you want for the phone in advance. When the minutes run out you can choose to buy more or simple get rid of the phone.

It is never a good idea to be in a vehicle without seatbelts for all passengers. However, some states don’t require the use of a seatbelt so people don’t pay attention to them working or not. If you are traveling out of state for the holidays you may be going through those that do require them and you need to be prepared.

Accidents can still happen even when you have properly prepared your vehicle for holiday travel. Seatbelts and car seats offer you a way to reduce the chances of serious injury if such an event does take place. In your glove box you should have a disposable camera so you can take pictures of the accident scene for your insurance company. Make sure you have a pen and paper handy as well so you can exchange insurance and personal information with the other party involved.

Thousands of people choose to travel for the holidays using their own personal vehicle. Doing your very best to make sure your vehicle is in excellent working condition will help you to arrive at your destination safely.

Save Money on Holiday Travel

So many people travel for important holidays that you may be quite disappointed with the cost of it. There are great ways you can save money though whether you are traveling by plane, train, or bus to get to your destination for the holidays. It is essential that you book your travel arrangements early. You don’t want to be stuck without a way to get where you want to be for the holidays due to everything being sold out. You also want to take your time to compare prices.

You will find some travel dates should simply be avoided around the holidays. This will allow you to avoid crowds which often equal substantial delays. You will also be able to get the same travel arrangements at a lower price just by carefully calculating the best times to travel.

You may not think that Valentine’s Day is a top travel holiday but it is. It is very important for people to be able to spend this holiday together. Since Presidents Day is very close to Valentine’s Day many people are able to take a long weekend. Avoid traveling during this Monday holiday and you will save money. Instead fly out in the next few days and then stay for a couple of days after Valentine’s Day instead of before.

Spring break takes place for about three weeks in March depending on which schools people are attending. If you plan to travel for spring break you need to plan it very carefully to maximize your time and to get good prices. Many colleges allow people to complete their final exams early. Try to do this and travel on a Wednesday or Thursday. Avoid peak days such as Friday and Saturday. You also want to come back on week days as they will be lower volume dates for travel.

Many people fly to see their parents for Mother’s Day and for Father’s Day. These are important holidays that take place on a Sunday in May and then on a Sunday in June. Traveling on the actual day will save you money over flying out on the Friday or Saturday before. This way you can arrive on their special day and hang out for several days. Your return trip should be for one of the weekdays following the holiday instead of on the weekend.

Thanksgiving is a common holiday that people travel for. Since it always falls on a Thursday, most people get an extended weekend so they can go visit for a few days or take a vacation. The peak of this vacation for travel takes place on the day before Thanksgiving. However, if you are willing to travel on Thanksgiving Day you can avoid the crowds. You will also find you save up to 50% of the price of getting there just by waiting less than 24 hours.

Most people return from their Thanksgiving vacation on the Sunday following the holiday. Try to avoid this day as well and return on the following Monday. Most employers want some people to be in the office on the Wednesday before so offer to do it in exchange for having the following Monday off.

Christmas is another peak holiday travel occasion, and you will find the fares get much higher the closer it gets to the 25th of December. Try to travel before the 19th in order to take advantage of the best possible fares. If you won’t be able to stay through New Year’s that choose a day in the middle of the week after Christmas. These are often slower days than the weekends and you will get better prices.

Avoid travel on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day as they are two of the most popular travel dates of the year. Fares are often double what they normally would be so you will save yourself plenty of money and delays if you work around them when you travel for the holidays.

Save Money with a Timeshare for the Holidays

Anyone that travels over the holidays knows that accommodations are generally more expensive than during other times of the year. They can also sell out fast if you don’t make your reservation very early. One way to save money when you travel for the holidays is to invest in a timeshare. They are available in most locations that people often travel to for a holiday vacation.

What you may not be aware of is that may other towns and cities around the world have timeshares too. This means if you are going to visit friends and family for the holidays you can still get a great price on a timeshare. You definitely will need some time of your own while you visit for the holidays and you don’t want to crowd other people in their home. A timeshare property can be a home, apartment, condo, and even a hotel.

For those of you not familiar with timeshares, they involve a group of people buying property together. Each person is an owner of the property and they get the privilege of using the timeshare for a specific period of time each year. You have the ability to sell your timeshare at any time so you aren’t obligated to keep it forever if you don’t want to continue using it.

You also have the right to sublet your timeshare when you are authorized to use it. This means if you decide to travel somewhere else for the holidays or to stay home you can let someone else use it. This way they get a great deal on their accommodations for the holidays and you aren’t out any money since you didn’t use it yourself. You can advertise your timeshare slot online and likely get plenty of excellent responses right away from interested parties.

If you don’t have time to purchase a timeshare right now before you travel for the holidays you should take a look online at those that are being sublet. This way you can take advantage of the availability of the property for your holiday travel. This is also an excellent way to find out about the different types of timeshare properties in that area that you may want to invest in down the road.

You may be surprised to find that you can also purchase timeshares from various hotel chains. The most popular one is Marriott and you can transfer it all over the world. This means you can travel anywhere you want for the holidays and take advantage of your timeshare at the local Marriott hotel. Since this popular hotel chain is very common you will likely find one nearby.

It is very wise to take your time looking for the right timeshare to use over the holidays though. You don’t want to get yourself involved in a scam and find out the actual property doesn’t even exist that you have paid for. Take the time to research information about the company and check with the Better Business Bureau. This way you know who you are dealing with.

Take your time to read over all the details of a timeshare property before you invest in it. Don’t just take the sellers word for it that you will be able to use it over the holidays when you want it. Make sure you have all that information in writing. Don’t be pressured into signing paperwork either until you have had the time to read it. They will often tell you that other people are interested in the timeshare to get you to make a rash decision.

You will be able to save plenty of money when you use a timeshare for your holiday travel. However, you will only be able to do so if you take your time to research what is offered. This way you can make an informed decision to purchase the right property for your holiday travel needs and for your budget.

Tips for Finding the Best Holiday Travel Deals Online

The internet gives us access to just about anything we can imagine. This includes finding flights, trains, buses, hotel rooms, and rental cars that we can use to travel for the holidays. While most of these entities are more expensive when you travel over the holidays due the demand, you can still find some good deals if you take the time to look.

You will generally find that you can save the most money on holiday travel if you purchase a complete package deal. This is less expensive than buying each piece that you need individually. It also provides you with only one confirmation number that you need to keep track of instead of several different ones.

There are literally hundreds of sites online where you can look for holiday travel deals. You can search by your destination in a search engine or choose the various sites you have heard about. It is a good idea to keep a list of the sites you visit and the prices you are coming across. This way you can compare the prices and easily remember where you want to go back to.

Most of the time fares will be cheaper online than by contacting the place directly because it saves their business time of having to set up the travel arrangements for you. Make sure you carefully read all of the information though because some travel deals have hidden costs that you don’t want to be liable for. You also need to check into the cancellation policies and about rescheduling your trip.

Some online travel deals don’t offer any refunds at all so if a family member dies or you have an unexpected illness you won’t be able to get your money back. Even if you show up late for your flight because you got caught up at security they won’t honor your purchase. This can be extremely risky because there are too many variables that can affect holiday travel.

Make sure you also pay close attention to the amount of time that you will be in the process of getting to your destination. You may find a killer price but it isn’t going to be worth it if you have several connecting flights and layovers along the way. Look for direct methods to get to your destination whenever it is possible. There are simply too many delays during holiday travel to ensure you can get to those connections on time.

Many of the sites you visit online will allow you to sign up for special offers and promotions. You should take advantage of these offers so that you don’t have to continually return to their site to check for changes in prices. Some of them even allow you to enter a price so that you can be notified if the price of the trip you want drops to that price. For those that can only afford holiday travel if it fits a specific budget, this is a valuable feature.

During your search online for holiday travel, be flexible with your dates. You will be able to save hundreds of dollars just by being willing to leave a day earlier or leaving in the evening instead of the afternoon. Those that want a specific travel arrangement will find this ties them into more expensive offers. Even if you travel a day earlier and have to pay for a hotel room that extra night you could save hundreds of dollars.

It does take some initial planning of where you want to travel and how you are going to get there in order to find the best travel deals. Investing a few hours of your time in getting the best price though is well worth the savings you will get from it. Millions of people travel each year over the holidays but some of them pay more for the same trip because they didn’t look for holiday travel deals online.

Tips for Packing your Car for the Holidays

Knowing what you are going to put into your suitcase is only half of the battle when it comes to effectively packing your car for the holidays. While you want to be selective of what goes into the suitcases and the number of them, there is likely to be plenty more than you will have to concern yourself with. The size of your vehicle is going to realistically determine what you can take and what will have to be left behind.

It is important to place heavier items on the bottom so they won’t crush larger items. You never know where things will end up after several sharp curves or having to slam on your breaks because someone else isn’t paying close attention on the road. If you have breakable items you will need to make sure they are packed very securely. For those of you traveling with Christmas presents, do your best to hide them in the trunk area. Even if you lock your vehicle when you stop someone may decide they want to break a window to take what you have.

You might want to consider using plastic crates or plastic storage containers with tight lids. This will allow you to fill them up and then stack them in your vehicle. It can offer you more room. If you are traveling for the Christmas holiday make sure you have plenty of room in your vehicle that your family will receive while you are visiting your family.

It is vital that you pack your car for holiday travel in a manner that allows you to be able to see out of all the windows. Blocking your view of the road is simply something you don’t want to get involved with. This can lead to a ticket from law enforcement or to you being involved in an accident.

If you simply don’t have enough room in your vehicle then you need to buy or rent a storage compartment that goes on the top of your vehicle. These aren’t very expensive and you will find they are very handy for more than just holiday travel. You can use them when you go on a vacation, fishing, or camping.

Another option is to rent a larger vehicle or a van for your holiday travel. Not only will you have more room to pack everything you need, but you will be able to not worry about breaking down or anything. Should the vehicle be damaged in an accident or breakdown the rental company will get you another one and you can continue on your way.

You will likely need several items to be accessible so think about that before you pack. You don’t want to have to unload your entire vehicle when you stop for the night or to get to something important. If you have a hotel reserved for the half way point of your trip pack one suitcase with clothing for everyone to change into the next day. This way you eliminate having to carry in several suitcases and having to repack your car the next morning.

Pockets and pouches for your car are a great idea when you are traveling for the holidays. Most of them strap to the back of the seat. You can easily store your map and other navigational tools there. Children can also use them for their activities as you don’t want them unbuckling their seatbelt to get to them while the vehicle is in motion.

Many people pack their purse into their travel gear but you want to place it where you can easily reach it. This way you can get to your identification if you are pulled over and you have access to money if you need to buy something. Since you never know if children or adults will get ill on the trip make sure you pack some basic items including aspirin, chewable medicine for children, and chewable medicine for upset stomachs. This will make the entire trip for holiday travel much easier.

Tips for Staying Alert during Holiday Travel

Traveling during the holidays is very exciting and there is plenty going on all around you. However, it is very important that you remain alert so you won’t be involved in an accident or become a victim of theft. There are plenty of criminals that target holiday travelers as they know they are likely to have money on them and they aren’t always paying attention to their surroundings.

Accidents can take place anywhere during holiday travel so you need to be prepared for the unexpected. Never speed when you are driving and make sure you have your seat belt on. Allow at least one car length between you and the person in front of you. Should they have to brake quickly you don’t want to rear end them or end up being hit by the vehicle behind you.

Pay close attention for animals crossing the road as they can be a hazard. Even though you don’t want to hit them, slamming on your brakes or swerving can result in an accident. If you do have to swerve always go to the right so you will be off the road instead of into oncoming traffic.

There will be people along the side of the road that have been involved in accidents or their vehicles have broken down. If you decide to stop and help them be very careful of the traffic that is coming along. If you decide to keep going you should switch lanes if possible or at least move over as far as possible. You don’t want to accidentally hit someone that is walking around on the road.

While it is human nature to be compassionate and to attempt to help others you need to be careful. Scams often occur during holiday travel and you may encounter people asking for money or a ride. Trust your instincts and if you don’t feel comfortable with the circumstances you need to leave.  You can always use your cell phone to call the local authorities to give them a hand.

Never drive when you are too tired to focus your attention on the road. Too many people traveling for the holidays haven’t gotten sufficient rest along the way. Don’t kid yourself into thinking that a soda or several cups of coffee are going to keep you awake. Driving while you are tired increases your chances of making mistakes and also prolongs your reaction times.

Whether you are driving yourself or taking another method of transportation, you need to keep a close eye on your items. Don’t fall victim to having your luggage, purse, or wallet stolen by someone because you left it unattended. Men should keep their wallet in their front pocket and women should keep their purses over their head across the shoulder and to the opposite arm.

If you are traveling with a spouse or other adult it is a good idea for each of you to carry some money and a credit card with you. This way if someone does get your materials you won’t be completely without access to other forms of payment you may need. It is also a good idea for each of you to carry a copy of the itinerary with confirmation numbers. This way you are likely to have one copy if the other gets lost. It is also helpful if you get separated in a crowded airport.

Traveling during the holidays can be fun and a great way to get away from your daily routine. Follow these tips to help keep yourself alert so you can have the very best time possible. Most accidents are the result of people being tired or being in too much of a hurry so get enough rest and take your time to arrive safely. Always pay close attention to your personal belongings and report any suspicious behaviors you may encounter.

Tips to make Holiday Travel Easier

The holidays can be quite hectic but they are often a time when people travel to see family and friends or to take a well deserved vacation. Following some basic tips will help ensure you have the best time when you travel during this time of year. Being prepared for things to go wrong is the first step in minimizing the damages and getting on with your holiday travel plans.

Make sure you have all of your tickets and confirmation numbers in a specific place. It is a good idea to make a copy of the information as well as the contact number for your tickets and place it in another location. This way if you lose the originals you will have all the necessary information to take care of it. You should call about a week before your travel dates to make sure your reservation is still active for all modes of transportation and your accommodations.

It is common for flights, trains, and buses to get delayed over the holidays due to security issues, weather, and trying to meet the needs of the volumes of people using such modes of transportation over the holidays. Make sure you have plenty of money, food, drinks, and necessities to get you through these delays. They can range from a couple of hours to a few days. If you will be traveling a long distance you should consider bringing along activities to pass the time, especially if you are traveling with children.

If you take prescription medications you need to make sure you have them clearly labeled. You may get questioned about them if they aren’t in the bottle you picked them up at from the pharmacy. It is a good idea to have a written note from your doctor regarding the medication as well. Makes sure you have enough of it for the entire trip including any delays that may occur.

Lost luggage is one of the biggest problems when people travel, and it compounds during the holidays because of how busy everyone is. While you really can’t prevent your luggage from getting lost, you can do your best to make sure you have all you need in the mean time. Make sure each person traveling in your party has clothing in all of the suitcases instead of making one for each person. This way everyone will have a chance to have some items should a bag or two get lost in the shuffle.

Clearly identify your luggage so that you will be sure to get yours upon reaching your destination. Too many bags look the same and many people are in a hurry when they travel for the holidays. Place a colorful ribbon or colored tape on your bags if you carry the styles and colors that are very popular. If you travel often you should consider some unique looking luggage that will stand out.

Traveling during the holidays needs to be as smooth as possible to ensure you will enjoy your trip. By taking the time to follow these tips you can help make that happen. There are plenty of horror stories out there about people not being able to get to their destination for the holidays or they didn’t have the items they needed upon arriving. Don’t open the door for your holiday vacation to fit into this grim category.

Traveling for the Holidays on a Greyhound Bus

Greyhound is a bus line service that takes people all over the United States with more than 2,000 bus terminals. This is a great option for those that want to travel for the holidays and not drive there themselves. You will find the lines at the Greyhound terminal to be less hectic than at the airport and you can simply get into your seat and relax for the trip.

Greyhound also offers amazingly fares so you can definitely save money over driving your own vehicle or those expensive airfares. The routes that are offered by Greyhound are continually updated in order to meet the needs of consumers so take a look online or call their headquarters to see what they can offer you. They offer comfortable seats that recline, heating and air conditioning, and lights so you can read after dark. Don’t expect meals to be served though. You will need to bring along your own food and drinks on the bus.

Since there are no assigned seats on a Greyhound bus you will want to arrive at the terminal early when you travel for the holidays. You want to make sure you get a choice of seats. If you are traveling with companions you want to make sure they have seats close to you as well. It can be a mess for a single parent traveling on a Greyhound bus to have to spread her children out. You can always hope some people will be willing to change seats but you can’t guarantee it.

One issue that many people are concerned with this is security issues aboard Greyhound buses. They haven’t updated their security measures since 09/11/01 like Amtrak and the various airlines have. The use of metal detectors on the buses have been randomly installed but they aren’t guaranteed to be in place. This means there may be people traveling on the bus that have weapons with them. This is a risk that some holiday travelers find to be too creepy to use this mode of transportation.

In light of this, Greyhound has been working to improve their image and to gain more confidence from consumers traveling for the holidays. They are working on offering quality bus terminals in case you have a long wait before yours departs. Many of these bus terminals also have a rental car agency inside so you can get to your final destination without having to inconvenience someone else to come pick you up.

They have also started random security checks at various Greyhound bus terminals in large cities. Those purchasing a ticket have to show photo ID and their luggage is subject to a random search. They are also working on providing video cameras to record what takes place on the bus. While there haven’t been any major issues with security while people travel for the holidays on the buses, they want to ensure the public that they are doing their part to make sure it doesn’t.

For many holiday travelers though, riding a Greyhound bus ensures that they can get to their destination without any stress and without having to drive themselves. The cost is very affordable. You need to make sure you understand that riding on a Greyhound bus does take longer to get there because they only go the speed limit and they will make stops at various bus terminals along the way.

Ways to Keep Children Entertained while Traveling in the Car for the Holidays


Taking your own car to travel for the holidays is a great way to avoid the hassles at the airport. It can also be less expensive as many flights are more expensive during holiday travel times due the demand passengers have. Traveling with children though can be difficult if you aren’t prepared.

It is important to be realistic about the expectations you have for children during holiday travel. You can’t expect them to sit quickly for 10 or 20 hours or drive time without activities. Make sure you plan your trip so you can stop every three or four hours at a rest area or even a park along the way to allow them to run around for a while.

There are plenty of age appropriate games that can be played in the car during travel for the holidays. Car Bingo features game cards that have different pictures on them including railroad tracks, cows, and different road signs. Even children that aren’t old enough to read are able to take part in this type of car game.

Since there will likely be people from other states traveling as well over the holidays, make a game to identify cars from as many states as possible. Have a list with you and then mark them off as you identify them. Try to take along small toys or treats you can give your children as s surprise throughout the trip.

There are plenty of CD’s out there these days with fun songs for children to listen to and to sing along with. For extremely long road trips over the holidays you might want to purchase a system with monitors so the children can watch movies as they travel. This can be a lifesaver, especially when there is only one adult traveling in the vehicle.

Traveling with your children during the holidays offers the perfect chance for everyone to visit and get to know each other better. Play a game where one person asks a question and then each person in the car gets the chance to answer. The questions can be simple such as what is your favorite color or more in depth such as what is your best memory. In addition to helping to pass the time you will learn a great deal about your children and they will learn more about you as a person instead of just as their parent.

Nothing is going to create problems in the car faster than not having enough room for the children and for all the times you need to take with you. Consider buying a container that will ride on the top of the vehicle so you don’t need to place luggage inside of the vehicle with them. It may be a good idea to consider renting a larger car or a mini van when you travel for the holidays to ensure everyone will have sufficient room to ride comfortably. Never have more people in the vehicle than you have seat belts for, even if you are traveling in states that don’t require them.

Children will likely sleep during the road trip so make sure you bring along pillows and blankets. Their favorite stuffed animals along with cups for drinks and delicious snacks will help ensure the ride is fun for everyone as you travel for the holidays. It is a good idea to have extra supplies in case you get caught up in a road closure or traffic jam. You should carry a cell phone will you as well in case you need to assist someone.

You need to plan for delays and expect the trip to take you longer than normal when you travel during the holidays. The additional traffic on the roads as well as people at the restaurants where you stop for food along the way are going to result in more time being spent that usual. Don’t attempt to speed while traveling with children in the car during the holidays. You want to get there safely and if it takes longer to ensure that happens then spend that time bonding with your children along the way.

Ways to make Holiday Travel Easier for the Elderly

The elderly may find it more stressful to travel over the holidays because they aren’t used to all the traffic or all the crowds. There are ways to make it is much easier trip though if you plan ahead. Many elderly people take daily medications so make sure you have plenty of it. Put it in a safe place where it isn’t likely to get lost. If you have extra pills you will want to pack them separately. If you have some in your purse and some in your luggage you are fine if one of them gets lost.

If you are flying make sure you have a note from the doctor to identify what the medications are. You will have to show them to security and you can keep the lines moving if you have the right documentation with you. Holiday travel is very busy but don’t think for a second that security is going to let their guard down and just let you pass through with it.

Don’t attempt to carry heavy bags around the airport. This can result in you getting hurt. If the airline you are traveling with offers a kiosk outside drive up to it and then go park your car. It is also a good idea to invest in luggage that has wheels on the bottom. This way you can pull them along instead of having to carry them any distance. Most head, back, and neck injuries occur around the holidays due to carrying heavy luggage.

If you use a walker or wheelchair make sure you contact the airline in advance. They are more than willing to accommodate such needs. Since the airport is so busy during the holidays though you need to let them know in advance. This way they can be sure to have staff available to assist you.

You may want to arrive at the airport an hour earlier than specified if you need special assistance. During the holiday season you will find the airport to be very crowded and this can result in it taking longer for you to get to your gate. It may be a good idea for you to take an early morning flight when the traffic is lighter there too if you can get one.

It is a good idea to carry your medical history with you when you travel. This is even more important if you have ongoing health issues. Your medical history can help medical professionals that aren’t familiar with your needs assist you if you aren’t able to tell them. Make sure the medical history includes information regarding any medications you may be allergic to.

Oxygen tanks are a common item that elderly people need when they travel for the holidays. It can be difficult to carry all of them with you that you will need for the duration. Instead of just staying home though talk with the company that delivers your oxygen. Chances are they can arrange for you to get the additional tanks you need when you land at the airport. If you are driving then you will be able to have the oxygen tanks delivered to the hotel or the residence where you are staying.

It isn’t a good idea to travel with several oxygen tanks in your vehicle. They can burst into flames if you are involved in a car accident. They are also very heavy and take up a great deal of space. Even if your oxygen tank provider doesn’t cover the area where you are going for the holidays, they can put you in touch with another company that does.

Just because a person is older doesn’t mean they don’t enjoy traveling for the holidays. Take your time to make sure you cover all your basis. This will help to ensure you remain safe while you are traveling for the holidays. The better trip you have getting to your final destination the more you will enjoy your holiday season.

Ways to Save Money for Holiday Travel

Many people want to travel for the holidays but they don’t feel like they can because their budget doesn’t allow for it. Yet there are plenty of ways you can raise money to be able to do so. The sooner you start making a plan and determining how much money you will need the more successful you will be. Come up with as accurate of an amount as you can so you wont’ fall short. If you overestimate the amount of money you need for holiday travel then you can enjoy it later on.

Make a commitment not to touch the money you save for holiday travel under and circumstances. Place it in the bank or in a piggy bank that you have to break to get into. This way you won’t be tempted to remove any of the money for another purpose. The money you save for holiday travel will safely continue to grow until you are ready to travel.

Everyone needs to remove clutter from their home now and then so get it done and have a yard sale. Price the items cheap so that you won’t have to haul it all back into your home again. Making some money off the items you no longer need is better than not making any at all. You may want to place some of the items on the various online auctions so that you can get a better price for them. Do your research to see what is selling on these sites so you can have a good chance of selling yours.

Take a close look at your income and think about how much of it you can reasonably put away for holiday travel. Even if it is only $10 a week you can start putting it away and it will add up quickly. If you get paid every two weeks there will be months when you get three pay checks. Make a plan to save at least ½ of those paychecks for your holiday travel plans.

You may find making some adjustments to your family’s budget can help you to save enough money for holiday travel as well. Instead of paying for a cup of coffee on the way to work each day make your own. Rather than going out to dinner and to a movie consider ordering a pizza and renting a movie. All the extra money that you save needs to go towards your holiday travel plans.

Ask your boss about any additional shifts or overtime hours you can have in order to save money for holiday travel. This means you may have to give up some of your free time but it will be a worthwhile sacrifice. Let other people know you are for hire too so they can pay you to baby sit, clean their house, or paint their garage. These little projects can be very fun and add up to some nice cash for the holiday travel plans you have.

If you are traveling for the holidays to see your family or friends ask them about a no gift rule if you want to go for Christmas. Explain to them that you will be saving all your money towards coming to see them for the holidays. The amount of money you will save on gifts quickly adds up, and being able to spend time with your family and friends will be a gift you can’t put a price on.

Look for excellent deals on holiday travel as well. It will be wonderful if you find a cheap flight or a discount of the train or bus. This means you will have less money to save up for your holiday travel. It may take some effort and some sacrifices but it will be well worth it when the holiday of your choice rolls around and you are able to go where you want to go.

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