How To Holiday Travel Without Having A Panic Attack
The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is by-far the biggest travel day of the year, which also just happens to come equipped with the highest odds of causing your biggest mental breakdown of the year. Whether you’re trekking it home for the ~hoLiDaYz~, or leaving on a mid-season vacay (hello Dominican Republic next week!), it’s important to remember that about 50% of the country is also doing the same. Security lines will drive you crazy, last minute cancelations will make you question everything, and the increase in foot traffic will make you hate everybody. Like, actually. hate. everybody.
I’m leaving for vacation the day after Thanksgiving, and while I’m confident that we’ll be bypassing a lot of the rush, I’ve already started to panic about how that morning is going to go. Not only do I already dread airports/flying/tiny seats/situations in which I have no wifi, doing all of those things during a holiday weekend can make it that more miserable. I’ve decided that since you came here to read what I have to say about this, you’re probs worrying about holiday travel yourself. And since you’re my homegirl (and homeboy), I figured it was wise to put together a checklist of essentials to keep holiday travel anxiety at a minimum.
1) First of all, you need a reliable suitcase and an appropriate sized carry-on. Nothing, and I mean nothing, is worse than the handle on your suitcase borrowed from Grandma May that she bought at Kohl’s in 1994 breaking mid-wheely since you didn’t invest in your own travel piece. I get that they can be expensive, but think of your suitcase as the housing for all of your belongings while en route to your destination. It’s no secret that our things usually get treated like sh*t while in the hands of airlines, so you want something that can fight through the bangs, bashes, and possible weather situations. This can eliminate so many unnecessary issues, so maybe don’t go out and spend $15 a drink this weekend and buy a suitcase instead?
Also, nobody likes the person who has a gigantic carry-on that ends up taking up a huge chunk of the overhead compartment. People equally don’t like the person who has a gigantic purse stuffed so far under the seat that it barely fits, or the person who’s knocking everyone in the head while passing through the isles. Don’t be that person.
2) PACK LIGHT. This might seem obvious, but listen up. I totally understand that you need to bring 6-782 pairs of shoes for your weekend vacation. Trust me, if it’s anyone that gets that, it’s me. However, during holiday travel it’s easier to bring 2-3 neutral pieces vs your entire wardrobe. The lighter your bag, the quicker you can move, and the quicker you can move, the faster you’ll be sipping from a coconut on the beach. It’s #Science.
Pack, then pack again, and eliminate 3-5 things the second time around.
3) Have all of your flight/travel information at the ready, and be prepared to keep whipping out your ID. Since this world is literally out of its damn mind these days, security is most likely going to be extra tight during the holiday rush. Lines will be long, patiences will be thin, and you want to get in and to your gate as seamlessly as possible. Keep all of your print-outs/tickets/identification cards in ONE place, that way you’re able to keep organized and not hold up the line while searching through your Celine Phantom. I also recommend downloading a few travel apps to help with tracking your flight, as well as information on where to check in, estimated security wait times, etc.
Some of my favs are:
– FlightTrack 5 (no wifi needed)
– iFly Airport Guide (good for tracking what eats are near your gate)
4) Keep yourself busy. Congratulations, you’ve made it. Nwo time to sit and wait. Fun, isn’t it? If you listened to point #2, you should still have room in your bag for something to occupy your mind during your flight. Not all planes are brand-spanking new, and not all are equipped with TV’s yet. Side note: IT’S 2016 PEOPLE. Please get Netflix on every flight. Like, every flight. And make sure Gilmore Girls is available when you do so. Thanks.
Anyway – it’s best to plan ahead and assume you’re going to be cruising on a 1993 Boeing 737. This isn’t a groundbreaking tip, but my favorite way to pass the time is by diving into a book I’ve been wanting to read. We rarely get the time to sit down and have absolutely nothing to do, so why not take the opportunity to feed your brain some ~knowledge~
I’m currently reading: