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The winter holidays are the busiest travel season of the year, with bustling airports and all kinds of stress. No one wants to be inconvenienced or forget anything important. Tickets for holiday travel can be very pricey in relation to other times of year, so this is one time you don’t want to be unprepared. There can be delays, layovers, and if you happened to have taken a gamble on the ‘standby list’ you could be calling the airport for a day or two just waiting to get on a plane. Here are a couple of things you can do to survive the holidays when you’re en route.
Stay Patient. Stay Calm.
Everyone around you is stressed out or panicky from the prospect of flying, and a lot of people don’t do well with long lines or hiccups with their itinerary. Try to stay positive and very calm. You will find that airline staff are much more accommodating and helpful if you stay away from nasty comments or rude behavior. You don’t want to deal with a jerk and neither do the airport staff, so if you’re getting frustrated, give everyone else a break, and take a time out.
Be As Organized As Possible
If you’re planning on taking a tropical vacation during the holidays or have a cruise boat to catch, you will benefit greatly from begin as organized as possible. You should have a planner or messenger bag with all of your boarding passes, ticketing info, reservation codes, passports, and any other travel-related or emergency info. You should also make a list of important numbers that can be readily accessed if your luggage gets lost or your flights are delayed. Don’t forget to include contact info for your credit card companies, local police department, your embassy in the country you’re visiting and any other info you think could be important.
Medication and Aviation
If you have anxiety in general or a fear of flying, be sure to have your medications on hand in your carry on or personal tote. You can’t just stash a couple of Ativan in a pill box or bottle of Aspirin either. All medications have to be stored in their original containers with current prescription labels. If you are planning on spending a large amount of time abroad, you may also want to check and see about limits on the quantity of pills you can travel with, and you should always keep a list of the types of meds you take as well as what your dosages are. That way, if you lose them or somehow run out, you can get medication where you are to cover you until you return, which could potentially save your life.
A Smartly Packed Carry On
You may not be anticipating showing up at a crazy airport and having to wait around or keep on your feet like it’s a work day, but a big part of surviving holiday travel is having a carry on that’s packed with a few essentials that can help you stay comfortable and calm. If you can fit a pair of simple shoes, do it. Standing in line and rushing from one gate to the next is fine when things run smoothly, but if you end up hunkering down at your gate for hours, your back, feet, and legs will be destroyed by the time you make your way onto the plane, and there’s never anywhere to sit during the holidays. You should also keep a few small sealed snacks and tea bags with you in case you end up staying in the airport overnight when everything is closed. Remember, you may not always receive a hotel voucher, so you need to have something to keep your stomach and throat happy. You can also pack some wet wipes, hand sanitizer, and dry shampoo to keep fresh, which goes a long way when you’re exhausted and are a long ways from home.
Keep Yourself Entertained
Boredom, as we all know, is one of the worst things about waiting for anything in life. The minutes can seem like hours if you don’t have something to do other than checking the time every five minutes. Pick out a couple of magazines at a gift shop, listen to music and podcasts on your smartphone, or get into a really good paperback. You may be sitting for a while, but you don’t have to twiddle your thumbs for nine hours. Doing things to pass the time will also help you keep a cool head when everyone around you is stressed to the max. ANd hey, this could be an excellent time to get into meditation!