Many people travel during the holidays to get away from the cold weather, or visit family and friends. The holiday season is one of the busiest travel period of the year, and it can be hard to stay organized, especially when travel can get busy and chaotic and all you want to do is get to your destination. To stay on top of your holiday trip planning, try following these suggestions so you can enjoy stress-free travel this holiday season:
MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THE ESSENTIALS
It goes without saying, but make sure you have everything you absolutely need for your trip ready to go, including passports, ID, phones, chargers, tickets, and booking confirmations. For people who are travelling by vehicle, phones and chargers are especially important in case you run into bad weather and need to call for assistance or to give family and friends a heads up that you may be late or have to delay your trip. When times get busy, it is easy to forget the most basic and essential items, so make sure you pack these items first and put them in a bag or place you are not likely to forget them.
EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED
When you’re travelling during the holiday season in Alberta, you need to be prepared for winter weather. Keep in mind that travelling during this time is not the same as travelling during the summer, and prepare yourself for possible delays, whether your driving or flying. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination if your driving, and scope out possible places along the way of your route where you can pull over or stop for the night if the weather is especially bad. Make sure to also pack extra blankets, gloves and toques in case you get stuck in your car or have to wait on the side of the road. If you’re flying, give yourself enough time to make it to the airport, and make sure your vehicle is equipped and ready to be stored outside for an extended period of time. When you’re booking your flights, make sure you have enough time there and back in case your flight is late, and pack a book or game in your carry to keep you and your travel companions entertained if you have to wait for a long period at the airport.
BOOK AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE
Don’t wait until the last minute to book your flight or accommodations! December is a peak time for travel, so be prepared for popular resorts to be busy, and for airlines and hotels to charge higher prices during this time. Get in touch with family or friends you are travelling with as early as possible and decide on the details – when you’re leaving, how long you’re staying, and how you’re getting there. The longer you wait, the more you will have to pay, and the greater the chance you won’t get your desired flight and accommodation options.
AVOID THE CROWDS
Wherever you decide to go, you can be sure that public places like restaurants and shopping centres will be busier than usual. Avoid the large crowds and purchase snacks and drinks to keep in your room so you don’t always have to go out (or spend more money!). Breakfast is also an easy meal to enjoy in your hotel room – you can purchase instant oatmeal, muffins, or granola bars at a grocery store an keep them in your room to eat. This way, you can save money on eating out and not have to worry about waiting for a table at a restaurant or getting there very early to try and get a seat.
Travelling can be stressful at the best of times, but the holiday season is always worse because there is a significant increase in travellers, and everyone is impatient to get to their vacation or see their loved ones. If you’re planning on travelling during this time, start planning early and make sure you’re prepared for any situation, especially bad weather!
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