8 Tips to Brighten Your Holiday Travels

The holidays are a special time when our hearts are warmed by the presence of friends, loved ones and the spirit of giving, but holiday travel? With everyone in a hurry, let’s just say it requires special planning. You’re looking forward to reuniting with faraway family, but first you have to get there. These 8 tips will help you go over the river and through the woods with ease.

Cause a Distraction
Pack a “distraction bag” for the kids. Let them pack a favorite book and a game or two. Then tuck away a new or unique surprise for them to discover!

Show & Tell
Who’s that?! Before taking the kids to see far-flung family members, put together a small photo album with pictures of the family you'll be seeing so they're not total strangers to the kiddos. While on the plane, share some stories about the family as you look through the photos.

Bonus tip: If you’re staying with relatives during your trip, this could also be a good opportunity to discuss house rules.

Pack An Extra Bag
Try the luggage version of Russian nesting dolls. Pack an extra duffle bag or a suitcase within a suitcase so you’ll be able to carry home any gifts you may receive.

Give Yourself Time
The early bird gets the holiday dinner, so allow for much more travel time than usual. Imagine how bummed you’ll be if you miss the homemade appetizers because you're stuck at the airport or in traffic.            

Ship Your Gifts
Take advantage of websites that offer free shipping. You can have gifts delivered right to your destination! And while you’re at it, you could go ahead and order toiletries and other necessities that can be a pain to take through security.

Travel Like St. Nick
Learn from the pro himself and travel like St. Nick. (…or technically, the day after). Travel on Christmas Day if you can. You’ll avoid long lines and usually get a really good deal on airfare.

Pack a Snack Pack
Snacks and an empty cup to fill with water once you’re through security will go a long way in keeping most children (and many adults) satisfied. See our video for snack-packing tips. Watch Video...

Fly South For the Winter
If it’s a winter break you’re planning, head south. You’ll be able to pack lighter, not to mention enjoy the much-welcomed warmth.

Now pack these tips neatly into your brain and remember them as you’re gearing up for holiday travel. You’ll be glad you did. You might even earn a (well-deserved) reputation as the travel expert extraordinaire of the family. Merry travels!

Vacation Stories

More Destination Guides


Visiting Lake Tahoe: North Shore vs. South Shore
Whether you’re traveling to ski or paddleboard, Lake Tahoe is a popular vacation destination year-round.

7 Spectacular Views in San Francisco
While San Francisco's famously steep streets can be a hassle if you're hoofing it around town, all those hills provide spectacular views of the city and its landmarks.

5 Family-Friendly Activities in the Redwood Forest
The Redwood Forest in Northern California is one of America’s most iconic landmarks and a top destination for travelers throughout the country.