10 Tips to Survive Holiday Travel

US Passport and Wallet with International Currency

Between airport delays, crowded roads lost luggage, and packed planes, holiday travel can be a recipe for a meltdown. Maintain your sanity this holiday travel season with these ten tips from the Down Under Endeavours team.

1. Get to the airport early
This may seem like a no-brainer, but you don’t want to be caught by surprise if your cab ride to the airport takes an hour longer than usual. You can also apply for TSA Pre-Check for a smooth journey through the security line.

2. Bring noise-canceling headphones and eyeshades
Got a crying baby on board or a chatty passenger a few rows back? Just slip on noise-canceling headphones and eyeshades and play soothing tunes, and you can easily escape to dreamland. As a bonus, you can now find noise-canceling headphones in earbud style, which will save space over the earmuff style.

3. Sign up for flight alerts
Sudden flight changes are par for the course during holiday travel. Don’t wait until you get to the airport to find out your flight has been moved forward or back several hours. You can sign up for flight alerts via app, email, or text through your chosen airline to stay one step ahead.

4. Monitor the weather before you leave
We recommend monitoring the weather during the week prior to travel. If you see a storm on the way to your home airport or your destination, you may need to modify your travel plans.

5. Bring hand sanitizer
Planes (sometimes referred to in this office as shiny germ tubes) can be a health hazard year-round, but between the common cold and swarms of travelers, the holiday season takes it to another level. Bring a small bottle of hand sanitizer in your carry-on and take Emergen-C, Airborne, or Zicam for at least two days prior to travel to prevent getting sick and ruining your holiday.

6. Download movies before you leave
Take some time the night before you go to download any movies or TV shows you want to watch on your flight onto your laptop. (You may also want to get some extras in case of airport delays.) This way, you can access your entertainment without paying a fortune for Wi-Fi. Be sure to bring your charging cords so you don’t get stuck with a dead device.

7. Pack essentials in your carry-on
Packing your essential travel kit in your carry-on will ensure you have everything you need while at the airport and provide a safety net if your luggage gets lost. We recommend taking a pen, refillable water bottle (make sure you empty it before going through security!), travel compression socks, chargers and/or converters, a change of clothes, a few pairs of socks and underwear, a toothbrush, and a neck pillow.

8. Enjoy a cocktail at the airport
There’s no better way to ease the frustration of holiday travel than having a few cocktails or bubbles at the hotel bar. Not only will it kill time while you wait for boarding, but it may help you sleep easy on your flight.

9. Bring a copy of your final documents
This one goes out to Down Under Endeavours customers: Bring your final documents with you! These detailed itineraries have all the information you’ll need before and during your travels, including flight times, airport pickups, hotels, important phone numbers, and more. If you bring your final docs along for the ride, you’ll be prepared for any travel mishaps.

10. Practice patience
Last, of all, be patient and prepared for things outside of your control. You’re on holiday! Having a positive attitude will ensure you enjoy every step of your adventure. And hey, a lot of fellow travelers will be in the same boat. Why not chat it up and make some new friends?