Christmas Travel Tips
While many of us will be staying home this Christmas there are still many more who have to travel to be with their loved ones over the Festive Season.
Travelling at this time of year is not easy especially when you have to contend with bad weather, packed flights and trains, bundles of warm clothing and presents for everyone!
Here are a few tips to help make your Christmas traveling that little bit easier.
1. Plan the journey in advance
All the best travel intentions often go awry the week before Christmas. Client are calling, bosses demanding everything is finished up before you go n leave and often, salaries are slow to hit the bank making shopping difficult. Plan ahead and ensure that you’ve got the journey planned out well be it by air, road or track!
2. Weigh in the luggage
While weight restrictions don’t really apply to a car journey it’s still wise to ensure that you travel light but make sure you have the essentials. If you pack at the last minute you’ll forget that one special gift, your contact lenses or to put food out for the cat.
Make sure that you’ve thought it through. Warm weather or cold weather clothing, gifts, no food stuffs on a plane, reduced weight so you don’t struggle with bags and prams or wheelchairs accounted for.
3. Present savvy
If you are going to fly, take unwrapped presents in your hand luggage to prevent unwanted attention at security and remember that all liquids have to be no more than 100ml in a clear bag! No snow globes as they get confiscated – sad but true! No poppers or crackers either.
4. Check the onward connections
A lot of airports, taxi services and trains will be running on restricted timetables over Christmas and New Year so it’s best to pre book online or by phone to ensure that you’re going to be met.
Parking can also be an issue so try online for pre booked valet parking at the airport or train stations. Congestion is bound to be an issue on main roads and at trains stations and airports so allow plenty of time and make sure you arrive relaxed.
5. Check host time schedules
Have you ever arrived overly late at your hosts home? It’s not a pleasant feeling and the greeting is a little less effusive than if you’d arrived n time. Just call them and check what time is best for them. They may have planned a late afternoon Christmas shopping or been invited to the neighbours for a drink. Keep it pleasant and that way you all have a lovely Christmas.
6. Be prepared
If you’re driving pack an emergency kit in the car- a first aid kid, a mobile phone, warm jacket, drinks and snacks, music, loo roll and bottled water. You never know what could happen on that four hour drive to your Mum’s in Yorkshire!
7. Crush the boredom
There’s always that part of travelling that has you bored rigid. The flight is delayed, the highway is going on forever or the train is waiting at a platform for an hour.
Dealing with travel irritations has never been easier than in today’s technological age with all the tablets, in car movie screens and DVD players to stop the kids whining ‘are we there yet’ and phones to download videos to or text a friend. Make sure you’re kitted up and if travelling with teens or youngsters download in advance for those annoying delays.
8. Arrive refreshed
We’re all in a hurry to get there and hug our family and friends and blurt out the news but take your time. If it’s a long journey by car, stop and treat the family to a hot drink and browse the shops for an hour. Take a nap on the train or plane and have a quick pit stop on the way to replenish the lipstick, deodorant and freshen up in general. It makes the greeting time less frantic and keeps everyone more relaxed.
9. Expect the unexpected
No one likes to think of anything bad happening on a journey – especially at Christmas time but you need to be prepared if it does. Leave a forwarding address and a spare key with neighbours. Buy a few light timers and set them before you leave to dissuade burglars, set alarms and ensure that the pets vaccinations are up to date so you can book them in the kennels.
If you are travelling by road check the car out before you go and top up oil, windscreen washer and wiper blades as well as tyres.
Remember your NHS health cards so you can be seen quickly by doctors at home and abroad if necessary.
10. Have a really good time
Travelling isn’t cheap and Christmas travelling is at premium prices so make sure that you make the most of the experience and live in the day. Too often we go away and worry about things instead of just enjoying where we are right then and there. It’s your Christmas too, make the most of it!
Merry Christmas from all of us at UK Beaches Guide!