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Holiday travel can create fun family memories, or it can result in stress, frustration and confusion. Easy techniques like booking reservations early, handling your gift shopping and wrapping after arriving, and keeping the kids entertained will help travelers arrive at their destination on time and still in the holiday spirit.
Families can anticipate the crowds. During the holidays, airports will be packed, hotels will be filled, roads will be congested, and many would-be travelers will find that they waited too long to make reservations. The key to holiday travel is planning and booking early. Those driving to their destination might want to outline alternate routes in case their primary course is slowed by a wreck, construction or simply too many cars.
Travelers should speak to a travel agent about purchasing a holiday package. Holiday travel prices shoot up during the peak season, but an agent can help find the least expensive deals for flights, rentals cars and hotels, grouping them together into one final price tag. Individuals can also arrive at the airport early. During the busy holiday travel season, lines for baggage check and security can hold people up for hours. Some travelers shorten their waiting times by packing light and not checking any bags and being careful not to wear any metals that might set off the security alarms.
Individuals can wait to wrap the holiday presents. Sometimes airport security will need to unwrap gifts to ensure nothing unsafe is being smuggled onto a plane. Wrapped gifts that are packed in checked baggage might also arrive with tears in the paper thanks to rough handling.
People can plan to purchase large gift items after arrival. Most travelers find it easier to buy golf clubs or televisions after reaching their destination, rather than trying to travel with them on an airplane or making room for them in the car. Breakable gifts might also add stress to a journey, so travelers should plan to buy these last minute as well. Gifts can also be shipped ahead of time to increase space and reduce stress.
Travel with kids sometimes adds an extra challenge, but the right tools and techniques can make holiday travel a breeze. Some children will barely even notice the long boring day of driving or flying if they have a portable DVD player and some of their favorite movies to occupy them. Many parents will also plan a few kid-friendly stops to break up a long drive. Letting the kids run around at rest stops and parks can help relieve pent up energy and keep them from getting too bored. Parents can initiate a few road trip games to play along the way; these can keep both kids and parents occupied on the interstate.