It’s a tradition among many families to go on a long trip over the holidays. For many, it’s about getting the extended family together for Thanksgiving or Christmas, while others head South to get away from the snow and freezing weather for a while. 4 Ways to Prepare for Family Holiday Travels
However, no matter where your destination is or how many years you’ve gone on the same trip, it’s always important to plan everything prior to leaving. You can’t just abandon your trip, go home, and straighten things out, after all, so you should learn how to prepare for your family’s upcoming holiday travels.
4 Ways to Prepare for Family Holiday Travels
- Pack Your Luggage Carefully
Image via Flickr by somegeekintn
Whether you’re traveling on the roads or by plane, it’s important to pack carefully. You must make some decisions about what comes with you and what stays behind. Toiletries are a must, so that is less negotiable. Your family members need enough clothes for the trip, but if your vacation is for more than a week, you might consider packing fewer clothes and washing them at your host’s place or at a nearby laundromat. Save additional space by downloading games, music, and books to electronic devices rather than packing physical items.
- Create an Holiday Itinerary but Remember It’s Not Law
Even if your vacation involves visiting your relatives and spending a lot of time with them, you’ll probably have time to spare when you and your immediate family can head out and see the local sights. To make the most of this time, you should develop an itinerary: a list of places you and your family want to visit and when to visit them. This is especially helpful if you need to buy tickets or reserve seats weeks ahead of time.
However, you should also remember that your plans can always change. One of your family members might come up with a better idea or, perhaps, something happens that requires all your attention. Additionally, your chosen plan might turn out to be less fun than you thought it would be. So, remember to be flexible, and don’t be afraid to cross something out if you need to take a break.
- Make Sure Everyone’s Healthy
It’s always worrying when someone gets sick, especially if it’s your kids, but it gets scarier when you’re away from home and you must find a hospital or see a doctor you’ve never met before.
You can’t prevent every accident from happening when you’re out on a holiday vacation, but it helps to make sure you and your family have seen a doctor recently for a checkup before you head out.
Doing so will help avoid any surprises. If anyone in your family is on a routine prescription, this is the best time to be sure he or she has enough medication to last throughout the trip. You should also check to see whether your health insurance coverage extends to out-of-state practitioners.
In some cases, coverage doesn’t expand past state lines and forces people to pay out-of-network costs. Senior citizens on your trip, such as grandparents, can take advantage of their supplemental Medicare insurance plans as such policies allow members to see a doctor while traveling within the U.S.
- Bring Along a Healthy Dose of Patience
If your family is traveling over the holidays, you’re far from alone. Highways and airports alike are typically filled with lone travelers trying to get home and families taking advantage of school and work vacations. This means long lines, traffic jams, and a lot of waiting around. Times like this can be both stressful and boring, but you can only do so much about it. That’s why you should remember to bring items for kids and adults that will help the time pass away. Overall, patience and optimism go a long way and, thus, lessens stress.
Family Holiday Travel Plans
Holiday trips can be as unique as the families who take them. Some travel several states away to celebrate Thanksgiving with relatives, but others use their days off in December to go someplace warm like Florida or Southern California.
Some even go camping during the winter. Still, no matter how you vacation during the holiday season, it’s important to stay prepared, make plans but keep them flexible, and stay calm during what can be a stressful time of year.