Tips for Taking Your Holiday Family Travel to the Next Level

With the holiday season approaching many people will be hopping on planes to visit family. It’s a wonderful time of year to be together and one that is full of fantastic memories and fun. At the same time if you find yourself just going through the motions you’re missing out on a great opportunity to take your holiday family travel to the next level and laugh along the way. That’s why I’m excited to work with Alamo as a Chief Travel Mom to share with you some of my tips for having a great time while traveling and to share a few funny stories along the way.

Have Little Ones? Don’t Leave Home Without Your Elf

We started the Elf on the Shelf tradition in our family just a few years ago. I was a bit hesitant to start it because as most parents will agree, the holiday season is a busy time and I didn’t have time to think of creative ideas to do with the Elf. I shouldn’t have worried, Pinterest is full of fantastic, funny, and simple ideas and seeing the joy and excitement on my children’s faces when they find the Elf is worth the little extra work. When you are traveling bring the Elf along with you. Have him (or her) surprise the kids on the plane ride, in your Alamo rental car, or at your destination. Having that little bit of home traveling with you will make everyone happy and will add a new level of fun to his antics. Our Elf has been known to hang upside down in funny places, hide in the refrigerator, and make snow angels in flour.

Alamo Travel Tips - Tips for Taking Your Holiday Family Travel to the Next Level - Traveling during the holiday doesn't have to be a nightmare. Read these tips from one of Alamo's Chief Travel Moms to see how to take your trip to the next level.

I’ve heard of some Elves taking a miniature marshmallow bubble bath, drawing (with washable marker) mustaches on everyone in family photos, and more. The ideas are endless and they can get pretty funny so be ready to capture your child smiling and laughing at his acts.

Keep Your Smartphone Charged & Bring Extra Memory Cards

These days you’d think it would be hard to run out of space on our phones or camera cards but it does happen and there are times when we are caught with our smartphones needing to be charged or a full camera card. This holiday season when traveling, make sure to keep that extra memory card handy and your smartphone charged up so you don’t miss any of those special and sometimes comical moments. If we weren’t ready we would have missed many of these moments.

When we were packed up and in the car last year traveling for the holidays we stopped to get gas and the kids were singing, “Feliz Navidad” along with the radio. I took my phone out to video them and even though they caught on it still made for a cute video and one I wouldn’t have if my phone wasn’t charged.

The kids crack me up and having photos and videos to remember all of our holiday trips and all the kids’ antics makes me smile.

Take Candid Photos Whenever Possible & Keep the Ones That Aren’t Perfect

Sometimes it’s the candid photos that help us remember our holiday travel moments best. While I treasure all of our family portraits it’s this one that brings tears to my eyes from laughing every time I see it.

While I’d love to say I snuck in and changed my dad’s camera setting to Sports or some other action setting, it was simply due to a timer going off faster than he thought it would. Even so, it makes me laugh and it’s honestly one of my favorite holiday pictures. Everyone was trying to look prim, proper, and perfect for the photo that to have the camera snap this picture makes me smile. There are a number of other holiday candid photos that I love and some that were taken while traveling that really capture the moment and put me right back in that place whenever I see them. A great example is the one below. It is one of my favorite pictures of the kids.

It was Kora’s 4th birthday and we had just put the Christmas tree up. The kids were so excited and just acting so cute and silly I had to snap a photo. I’m so glad I captured there laughter, it just radiates through this photo and takes me right back to when they were so little and to those adorable dimpled baby cheeks! Even though these photos aren’t crisp, clear, and picture perfect I keep them because they mean just as much to me as if they were award winners.

Continue Family Traditions Whenever Possible – Just Adapt Them

After your plane lands and you pick up your car from Alamo at the airport, pack everyone in and get ready for some on the road fun while traveling to your destination. Do you play holiday games at home? Adapt them a bit a play in the car. For holiday travel bingo look for cars with Christmas trees on top, see who can spot the first snowflake, keep your eye out for cars with antlers and Rudolph noses. Enjoy some holiday cookies as a snack on the way to your destination. Pack them well and they should hold up for everyone’s enjoyment. Candy canes are a good treat for the car as well (as long as you don’t have little ones – you could end up with a big sticky mess which could be a funny story in itself one day!). Also if you’ve got a ways to go between the airport and your destination and the vehicle your driving has a DVD player, pop in a holiday favorite that the whole family will enjoy. It’s a great opportunity to bring back memories from your childhood and to make new ones with your children.

Those are my tips for taking your family holiday travel to the next level and laughing along the way. We cherish our holiday family travel memories as much as the ones we make at home and we do our best to go into the season with smiles no matter where we are.

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About the Author


By: Tésa, Alamo Chief Travel Mom and co-founder of

The Alamo Chief Travel Moms are a council of lifestyle bloggers and mothers who have partnered with Alamo Rent A Car to inspire and celebrate family travel while sharing their personal experiences and tips they’ve learned along the way.