AHH.. Holiday Travel. Traveling to and from family for the holidays – Making flight arrangements, airport parking reservations, hotel reservations, rental cars and more! Holiday travel have you in a panic? Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s consistently rank among the busiest long-distance travel periods, according to U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Will this year be any different? With economic fears subsiding and unemployment rates down a bit, more of us are organizing get-togethers with loved ones and friends. Yeah for us, but what about managing expectations? If you are not a frequent flyer, did you know that cell phones have been approved for use during in flight travel? You must turn off for take off and landing, but in flight use? I vote NO! We need a peaceful flight to our destination. We need time to work, read, think and truly wind down. Our lives are busy, carpool lanes, deadlines every 5 minutes, children’s activities, meetings, networking, busy is endless. Let’s be courteous to one another, everyday and even in flight. Should we become a society that never stops talking, texting, messaging? Ever notice that cell phone users have no concept of volume? And, do we really want to hear private conversations? Hey in flight cell phone users, think twice before making the call. Flying is a hassle, why make it worse making phones calls where you have no privacy! Most of us enjoy the few hours on the plane to chill and catch up on reading, writing, listening to our favorite music or catching a movie on our devices.
No vacation is every perfect, unless you manage expectations. With the recent approval of in flight cell phone use on most international flights, few domestic, I recommend ear plugs or head phones over stress. The evil eye may work, or a polite shushing, or even asking the offending cell phone user to lower the volume – my guess, a verbal altercation ensues and then we have a flight that has to land off course, delaying our loved ones of our on-time arrival! Here’s hoping an air marshall is on the plane to restrain that cell phone! Remind everyone, including yourself, there will be speed bumps in the road, maybe a lost bag or two, flight cancellations and even those we love, will say and do the wrong thing. No doubt a stranger will increase the stress. Hey, it’s the holidays, what family member or disgruntled teen or aggravated spouse or stranger won’t say the wrong thing? Find your quiet moment, breathe and remember how short life can be and how truly valuable rare moments are. Better yet, order a cocktail!
I am a checklist person. Writing it down, making a list, helps lessen the chaos and thinking for others. Smarter Travel means making a list. First and foremost are you well to travel? Have a cold or feeling lousy, but need to fly? A face mask and wipes are essential to keep your germs from flying around and to wipe the tray table and arms of the seat to protect you, too. Plan to take a travel game just in case there is a delay; don’t forget comforts for the plane (travel pillow and blanket, I prefer my scarf too); food for the plane a must; consider taking on board a small box of See’s Candies or a holiday candy to offer to those around you, it’s the holidays! I never forget a small toy in the event the child behind you insists on kicking your seat! If this doesn’t happen, then you have a small gift to give upon arrival to a niece or nephew. Do not forget to load Christmas Tunes on your iPod, and pack a few overnight essentials just in case the luggage is delayed. Have a back up plan, to execute quickly and with no time to lose, if the flight is cancelled, do not wait in line, call the airline directly; know your rights for your specific airline in the event of a flight cancellation; download airline apps and sign up for travel advisories. Wear holiday cheer! Commit to the mantra “no matter what, have a great time.” Don’t forget the Christmas Sweater!
WISHING YOU A BLESSED THANKSGIVING, A FESTIVE CHRISTMAS, HANUKKAH AND TRADITIONS CELEBRATED, WITH LOVED ONES. – Catherine