The following article is sponsored by Southern Utah University.
If holiday season travel raises your stress level, here are a few tips to help you stay calm during the busy travel season. Patrick Clarke, dean of the University College and Jeb Branin, executive director of experiential learning at Southern Utah University, offer advice that can help you avoid holiday travel stress.
- Be Prepared
According to Clarke, you should “spend time before you travel, planning your trip’s details, and don’t be caught unprepared.” For airline requirements, check TSA Guidelines for carry-on rules. Dress simply so that security is easier. Clarke also suggests keeping your gifts unwrapped, as TSA officers may unwrap presents for security reasons. Gift bags are a good alternative.
Branin advises, “Have a change of clothes in your carry-on. That way, you will be guaranteed fresh clothes in case your luggage goes missing.” He also suggests downloading Uber or Lyft apps. These apps access a cab service, making it quicker to catch a ride once you arrive.
Expect the unexpected and give yourself time for delays. According to Branin, the best way to defeat holiday travel blues is to “go with the mindset that you are going to be patient and calm. Airlines, car companies and other corporations will work with you to fix problems, but they will be more likely to work their hardest if you are positive, kind and patient.”
That important tip by Branin may seem obvious, but he shares it knowing that most people struggle to stay positive during the holidays. Also, avoiding peak travel days may mean easier travel.
- Be Travel Savvy
When flying, make sure to buy your tickets “as soon as possible,” says Howard Hu, professor of Hotel, Resort, and Hospitality Management at Southern Utah University. “Try to book the airfare at least two months early, because the price will be cheaper when the demand is low. You can also bargain shop for your plane ticket at yapta.com, promocodes.com.”
- Be aware
Branin cautions travelers to “be aware of weight limits, especially if you are going abroad. Sometimes heavy bags can cost almost $100 extra. You can check luggage prices for your airline at hipmunk.com.” Pack light, a rule of thumb is five tops per two bottoms.
- Be ready
With these seasoned tips guiding you to your holiday destination, we hope you will arrive at your destination ready to enjoy the time with friends and family.