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10 Practical Tips For Holiday Travel You Can’t Miss

10 Practical Tips For Holiday Travel You Can’t Miss

Whether you are visiting family in another state or taking a vacation at an overseas location, holiday travel can be stressful, crowded and expensive. No matter how much you plan, you always have cranky travelers, long lines through customs, delayed flights or a combination of all of these. You can’t control everything about your holiday flight plans, but here are 10 invaluable tips you can’t pass up.

1. Create an ultimate check-list

There are so many things you need to do when you travel for the holidays. You might think that you can keep a mental list in check, but statistically you are bound to forget something. Make things easier on yourself, and create an ultimate check-list. This list should include all of your major, important tasks as well as the little things that matter. If you like, create pre-flight, flight and post-flight check-lists so that you can better keep track of what you need to get done at specific times.

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2. Shop around for the best travel deals

Air travel is a popular commodity, and everyone claims to have the best deals. Don’t let the hype get to you, though. And don’t limit yourself to searching for flights on one site. Shop around to see who really has the best deals, and enjoy your savings. Often, airlines offer better deals to customers who buy directly from them rather than using a middleman.

3. Fly nonstop or plan out connecting cities

Oftentimes, nonstop flights are less expensive and take less of your time. If it’s possible for your destination, book a nonstop flight. However, if you have to connect, select your connecting cities wisely. It is not unusual for some cities to be more prone to weather delays during the holidays than others. Check the weather forecasts for your connecting city options, and plan accordingly.

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4. Travel at non-peak times and days

Holiday travel is so much easier when you avoid traveling at peak times or busy days. Ideally, you should book your flight at least a little before a holiday. Try not to travel on a weekend or during midday. Book your flights early in the day or late at night. The best days for travel are usually, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

5. Pack strategically

When you travel, keep in mind the luggage restrictions you must follow. These restrictions differ a little for every airline, so make sure you check online. You can try to travel with a carry-on only, but don’t be afraid to check a bag depending on what your needs are.

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6. Give yourself extra time for airport security

Leave for the airport early to allow enough time to get through security checkpoints. Make allowances for traffic as well. Most airlines have a maximum of eight hours before your flight that you can check-in. Use this time to get through customs well before your scheduled flight.

7. Make plans for your ground transportation in advance

The difficulty of holiday travel doesn’t end when you flight lands. Ground travel is bound to be crowded and busy too. So make plans in advance. Know exactly how you will be traveling to your local destination. There are many private cars and limos available to drive you where you need to go. Sometimes local buses or free shuttles are available as well.

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8. Take snacks and entertainment for your flight

Airport food and in-flight snacks are notoriously pricey. Try to pack some snacks ahead of time, so that you have more choices in the food you eat without emptying your pocket. Also take some form of entertainment. Netflix or DVDs are great ways to entertain yourself if you have a particularly long flight.

9. Use the Internet to make your trip more convenient

Traveling for the holidays is stressful. Use amenities available online to make your trip a little easier. For example, you can use your airline’s online check-in to beat the lines. You can also print your boarding passes at home.

10. Relax and try to stay calm

Whatever happens during your trip, try to stay relaxed. Just remember that it is the holidays. One of the happiest times of the year. Don’t let a cranky traveler or a testy TSA person upset you. Stay calm, and carry on. You’ll be just fine.

These are 10 invaluable tips for holiday travel. How do you deal with the crowds and the stress? Do you have any cool tips to offer?

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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