Holiday season is a time of joy and spending time with your loved ones. On the other hand, traveling during the holiday season is as stressful as it gets. By following the below tips, you will ensure you get to enjoy your trip and truly relax during the holidays.

Pre-Travel Checklist

The first thing you need to do for a successful holiday is to pack and make sure that everything will be alright while you are gone. A lot of people dread this activity as they do not know where to start.

Unleash your inner-Cinderella

You will have to come back eventually and there’s nothing better than coming home to a spotlessly clean house so make sure you do the cleaning one day before leaving. Do the dishes and the laundry and put fresh sheets on the bed in case you’re too tired once you get back. Make sure nothing stays in your fridge that can go bad while you’re gone. Once you’re done, sprinkle baking soda into the toilets and down drains to prevent encountering stagnant water smells when you return.

Make arrangements for your plants

Try to find someone who will drop by now and then to keep your plants alive.

Turn off your appliances and HVAC

Unplug any appliances to avoid phantom waste. If you don’t think this is a big deal, keep in mind that leaving your espresso machine just plugged in equates to a LED light bulb lighting a room 365 days a year. Once you turn off and unplug, make sure not to leave your thermostat on extreme temperatures as otherwise, it will undo all the relaxation you indulged in with a sky-high Reliant Energy bill once you come back. You can either keep your AC on an eco-mode at a normal temp or schedule it to a certain temperature a few hours before your return.

Take care of paperwork and administrative tasks

Schedule automatic bill payments while you’re gone to avoid the electricity or internet company turning off your supply. Inform your bank of your departure not to end up with a blocked card and out of money.

Secure your home

Lock up and ensure all windows are closed. If you have an alarm, test it a week before hand. It’s always a good idea to leave your key with someone trustworthy, just in case.

How to Save On Holiday Traveling

There is always an opportunity for savings and traveling during the holiday season is no expectation to this rule, as challenging as it may seem.

Use a fare-tracking application

Shop around to find the best option. From Expedia to Skyscanner, comparison shopping has never been easier.

Avoid the most popular dates

Traveling during a so-called ‘dead week’, which is one week before and after the major holidays, is a great way to save money. There are two main “dead week” stretches, each about 10 days long. First is the time between the two December weekends immediately following Thanksgiving. Second is the timeframe between the first two January post-New Year’s weekends. Traveling on Thanksgiving Day is often more affordable, and if you can fly back any other day than Sunday, you’ll likely pay less. Another rule is that airports tend to be less congested when the majority of human beings prefer to be asleep so early morning flights can be a good call.

Don’t let the price to mislead you

The best fares tend also to involve the trickiest or most inconvenient itineraries, a risky approach for a holiday itinerary that tends to be tightly scheduled. Connecting flights will cost less but for good reason so spending a bit more can actually save you money and time under some circumstances.

Holiday Travel Tips

Holidays can also be a stressful time, so whatever happens, it is important to ensure that you will stay calm and cool.

Make yourself comfortable

Bring a pashmina to keep you warm, noise-cancelling headphones and travel pillow as you don’t want to reach your holiday destination stiff and agitated.

Pack wisely

Check what is allowed in your cabin luggage. If you plan to shop, make sure you leave plenty of room in your suitcase as the overweight charge might diminish the enthusiasm of retail therapy entirely.

Make sure your cell phone is fully charged

Considering that all things are digital these days, having your boarding pass on your phone means that you cannot risk staying out of battery. Perhaps it’s a good idea to also have a paper copy of all your important documents just in case.

Takeaway -Holiday travel can be notoriously busy, expensive, and stressful, but you can still find joy during the holiday season if you shop carefully and plan ahead. Don’t sweat the small stuff and think of holiday travel as undergoing a baptism by fire to become travel savvy, as it is merely a skill like any other.

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